A quick rinse of the rice makes all the difference. Part of risotto's wonderful flavor comes from toasting the dry rice in fat before adding the liquid, giving it a distinct nutty aroma. But toasting destroys some of the rice's starch, resulting in a less creamy finished product.
What I do is place 1 1/2 cups of Arborio rice in a bow with a quart of chicken stock and a cup of white wine, agitating the rice with a whisk for about 15 seconds to release the starch before draining over another bowl, reserving the starchy liquid.
After toasting the rice in a tablespoon of olive oil just until it begins to smell nutty, I'll add some garlic, followed by all of the starchy stock, save one cup. I bring the liquid to a boil, give the rice one quick stir, cover, and reduce the heat to low. I cook the rice for 20 minutes, giving it a quick stir halfway through. Just before serving, I add the final cup of stock, along with a touch of cream and grated cheese.
The result? Toastier, more flavorful risotto that can go from pantry to table in less than 30 minutes with just a couple of stirs.