Rosemary and Garlic Risotto

My version of risotto adds the complex depth of spice at every stage of cooking. Because spices infuse the liquid, water is the base here, not stock. But the resulting dish still tastes rich with the addition of mascarpone and Parmesan. You can prepare most of the risotto ahead of time (see step 5). Whether you do that or go from start to finish, the timing may vary depending on the grains. Different brands and varieties of rice absorb liquid at different rates. Risotto is all about feel. You’ll sense the push and pull of the rice as you stir, the liquid soaking into the grains and becoming a starchy sauce. Celery seeds and garlic add a savory note to the natural sweetness of the rice and onion. Rosemary and fennel give this a classic Italian feel. 

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