I ran out of regular rice the other day, and subbed in some arborio (the traditional risotto rice). I figured it would serve well enough, since it's a tough variety, and I planned on a multi-stage cooking process. I threw it in a pot with some broth, and boiled it like regular long grain.
What I wasn't prepared for was the starchy mess that was revealed upon removing the lid. It looked basically like a bland, butterless risotto. Ended up throwing out my planned dish, and turning the rice into a kind of fritter (which worked great), but it got me wondering.
If arborio's natural state is basically risotto, then why is risotto preparation so much more involved than regular rice? I'm guessing the constant stirring is more about evaporating the broth off than anything else, but I was wondering if there was a risotto guru out there who actually knew the answer?