Many folks shy away from making risotto, the thought of standing at a pan stirring constantly being enough to put them off trying it out at home. But this traditional Italian recipe is remarkably quick and easy to make and fits the bill if you’re looking for a bowl of delicious mid-week comfort food whatever the weather. Here’s our guide to making a basic risotto, but you can adapt this recipe to suit your tastes, or whatever you’ve got hanging around in the cupboard or the fridge. We’ve picked mushroom as the key ingredient, but feel free to add what you like…
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300g arborio rice
1ltr chicken or vegetable stock
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, crushed or finely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil or 1 tbsp olive and 15g butter
A handful of grated Parmesan cheese
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Once you've got all your ingredients up together, here's what you need to do:
Make up the stock and keep in a pan on a low heat. Heat the oil or oil and butter in a large saucepan then gently fry the onion and garlic until soft. Add the mushrooms and cook for a few minutes. Add the rice and make sure all the grains are coated with the oil, stirring for about a minute. Using a ladle, gradually add the stock bit by bit, stirring all the time, but don’t put too much in at once. The rice will slowly soak up the stock as it cooks – this should take about 20-25 minutes. It shouldn’t be too soft, but should still have a slight crunch and nutty texture when done. Take off the heat, season and stir in half the parmesan. Keep the rest to sprinkle on top of each serving.
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You can add bacon to the above recipe for some extra flavour, but remember not to go overboard on the salt when seasoning as the bacon will have more than enough for the dish. Pumpkin risotto makes a delicious vegetarian alternative – just substitute the mushroom for diced butternut squash and add some fresh sage leaves. Prawn and pea is also a good mix, especially with some additional garlic and a squeeze of lemon. Check out this Ocado voucher code for some great value top quality ingredients and you can save £20 when you spend £80 or more on your first order.
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By Anna Scott, 3rd July 2013