If you’re tired of eating mushy pasta and rubbery mussels, you’ll be happy to discover that it doesn’t take much to perfect the nitpicky aspects of cooking some of your favorite dishes. Small technique tweaks can make a big difference when it comes to the way your final dish turns out. Many of the most common mistakes are easily avoidable.

Check out these tips and you’ll find yourself impressing your friends and family with your cooking chops in no time.


Risotto is a northern Italian rice dish that’s as warm, comforting, and rustic as it is elegant and complex. While it is a simple and classic preparation, do not be fooled, as it requires utmost attention and care to perfect. When done correctly, risotto is creamy and decadent with a bite, and its layers of flavors meld together perfectly.

To give yourself a fighting chance, start your risotto off on the right foot by choosing the proper ingredients. Traditionally, this dish is made with onion, white wine, Arborio rice, stock, and Parmesan cheese. An earthier variation may call for shallots and red wine instead. While you should certainly experiment with adding extra ingredients — like mushrooms, peas, leeks, or even seafood — be sure they pair well with the harmonious base.