This risotto is traditionally served with Osso Bucco, an Italian veal dish. It is comforting food on its own or it can be served with a robust lamb stew.
2 tablespoons of butter or olive oil
1 small onion, chopped finely
1 and a half cups of arborio or carnaroli rice
100ml white wine
Quarter teaspoon of saffron threads soaked in warm water for 15 minutes
One vegetable or chicken stock cube, made up in boiling water
Knob of butter
40g Parmesan, grated
Salt and pepper
1. Heat the butter or oil in a heavy frying pan or non-stick saucepan.
2. Add the onion and sauté over a gentle heat until soft.
3. Add the rice and cook gently for a couple of minutes until a light golden, stirring so it does not burn.
4. Add the wine and the saffron strands and the soaking water and cook gently until the wine has disappeared – this means that the rice has absorbed the flavour.
5. Add the stock, a little at first, then when this has been absorbed, add a little more stirring all the time. The heat should be at a gentle bubble. When you have used about a quarter of stock you can add more genorous splash. Continue cooking and stir the risotto often adding more water as it absorbs the liquid. When the rice is cooked – it will be soft with a slight bite in the centre of the grain – add the knob of butter and the grated Parmesan and stir.
7. Take the pan off the heat. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper if you need it. Serve immediately in bowls.