COOKING pasta the way you would make risotto may sound new and hip. But it’s at least old enough to have been demonstrated to me in Rome in 1976, and I imagine as old as pasta itself.

At our restaurant, the liquid is minimized: there’s no need for a gallon per pound of pasta. The liquid is added gradually to the pasta, which absorbs it completely and thereby retains its starch. This makes the pasta creamy and rich; it also gains the flavor of the stock.

There’s an even easier way to approach this: you can make pasta as you would pilaf, adding sufficient liquid all at once, with no subsequent additions or stirring.

That technique is easier, but cooking pasta risotto-style is more precise and reliable.

You can use pretty much any pasta shape you like: gemelli, fusilli, penne, orecchiette, even spaghetti broken into pieces will work. Timing, of course, will vary depending on size.

Here is a combination of gemelli with mushrooms and chicken to get you started. It follows a pattern familiar to anyone who’s made risotto.

This approach may seem more work than making pasta in the ordinary way. But as the making of the “sauce” is integrated into the pasta-cooking, it really becomes a one-dish meal — as interesting as risotto, and even a bit quicker.

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