I really enjoy risotto and often choose it from the menu of my favourite Italian restaurant. I have never attemtped to make it myself before now so thought it was about time I had a go. I was a bit daunted to start with as it is something that I haven't made before. I looked at several recipes and finally decided on one by Georgio Locatelli. His book called Made in Italy Food and Stories is wonderful and I have made several delicious meals from it.
There is a huge chapter in the book all about risotto. It goes into detail about the rice and the stock and after reading it all I was a little apprehensive. So I gathered all my ingredients and set too. It was actually not that difficult to make although adding the stock and all the stirring took a while. It was actually quite hypnotic watching the rice slowly absorb the stock. The results were definately worth it and this was so tasty. I will be making risotto again and am looking forward to trying some different ingredients.
Classic Risotto with mushrooms and grana cheese - Serves 2
1.25 litres good chicken stock
half an onion, very finely chopped
200g superfino carnaroli rice
125ml dry white wine
salt and pepper
For the mantecatura
35g cold butter, diced
50 finely grated Grana Padano cheese
Chop the onion as finely as you can and grate the cheese. Put the stock into a pan and bring it to the boil. Then reduce the heat so it is just simmering.
Put a pan on the heat and add the 25g butter so it melts. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes so it softens. Turn up the heat to medium and add the rice. Stir until the grains are well covered in butter and heated through. Once hot, add the wine and let it reduce and evaporate. Continue to stir until the wine has virtually disappeared.
Now its time to add the stock. This is the bit that takes a while. Add the stock a ladleful at a time. Let each addition be almost absorbed before adding more stock. The idea is to keep it runny and never let it dry out. You need to keep stirring the rice so that it cooks evenly. As you add the stock you will begin to see the rice swell as it absorbs the stock. After about 15 minutes start to test the rice. It is ready when it is plump but still has a slight firmness. I added my mushrooms at the this point and stirred them in for a couple of minutes.
Take the pan off the heat and let it cool slightly. Then quickly beat in the cold butter and then the cheese. Serve the risotto quickly as it will carry on cooking for a few minutes.