Having had four freeze injections at the dentist on Friday, due to one stubborn molar's refusal to be put to sleep, and having experienced a fair amount of drilling (into that same wilful and disobedient tooth), anything other than soft food was off the menu this weekend, so risotto was the perfect choice for this week's post. Apart from anything else, a really oozy cheesy risotto is such a comforting dish... perfect for someone who's feeling a little bit sorry for herself. This recipe will feed two generously.
1 tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
10½ oz (300 g) Italian carnaroli rice
1¾ pints (1 litre) hot vegetable stock (from Marigold Swiss bouillon powder)
4½ fl oz (125 ml) dry white wine
3½ oz (100 g) Gruyère cheese, grated
3½ oz (100 g) Dolcelatte cheese, cut into tiny cubes
2 oz (50 g) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 heaped tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Begin by putting the kettle on to boil the water for the stock. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan, add the onion and garlic and fry gently for about 5 minutes until softened. Make up the vegetable stock and set aside until it's needed.
Add the rice to the frying pan and stir everything around so the rice gets a coating of the oil. Turn up the heat and cook for a minute or so, stirring constantly, until the rice becomes slightly translucent. Add the white wine and keep on stirring until it has been absorbed by the rice.
Once the rice has absorbed the wine, add a good seasoning of salt and pepper and the first ladle of stock and turn the heat down to a simmer (see photo below).
Cook, stirring constantly, until the first ladle of stock has been absorbed, then add another. Once the stock has been absorbed, add another. Then go on adding one ladle at a time, waiting for it to be absorbed before adding another, until all the liquid has been absorbed the rice is tender (see photo above). This should take about 15-20 minutes.
Stir in the Gruyère and Dolcelatte, then remove the pan from the heat and season to taste. Stir in the Parmesan and basil, then place a lid on the pan (or cover with foil) and leave to rest for 2 to 3 minutes before serving. The cheese will make this a nice and gloopy dish, but the rice should have maintained its shape.
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