I usually keep my risotto pretty simple, because it's a great dish to show off flavors, IMO. Last time I started with brunoise of onion, garlic, and carrot, sweat the vegetables. I had mushrooms sauteeing in another pan, and the rice toasting in another. From there it was pretty standard; add rice, add chicken stock, eventually added some chopped chicken, asparagus, and lots of sage too. Garnished with those shrooms and a little bit of cheese (forgot what kind, sorry).
This was heaven for me, because I love the flavor of chicken and sage, and of course those flavors permeated throughout the dish.
I made a cowboy risotto once, southwest flavors using dried chilis, beef and beef stock, and spices and vegetables like you might find in chili, but no beans. It turned out well from a technique standpoint, but I dunno, something about the aggressive flavors and the smooth texture just didn't work for me.