- Heat the stock.
- In a separate pan heat the olive oil, add the shallot or onion, celery
and a pinch of salt, and sweat the vegetables for
about 3 minutes.
- Add the garlic and after another 2 minutes, when the veg-
etables have softened, add the rice.
- Turn up the heat now. While slowly stirring, continuously, you are
beginning to fry the rice. You don't want any colour at any point (so
remember, you're in control, and if the temperature seems too high,
turn it down a bit). You must keep the rice moving. After 2 or 3 minutes
it will begin to look translucent as it absorbs all the
flavours of your base (it may crackle at this point, that's fine).
- Add the vermouth or wine, keeping on stirring as it hits the pan -
it will smell fantastic! It will sizzle around the rice, evaporating
any harsh alcohol flavours and leaving the rice with a tasty essence.
- Once the vermouth or wine seems to have cooked into the rice, add
your first ladle of hot stock and a pinch of salt (add small amounts
of salt to taste while you are adding the stock). Turn down the heat
to a highish simmer (the reason we don't want to boil the hell out of
it is because, if we do, the outside of the rice will be cooked and
fluffy and the inside will be raw).
- Keep adding ladlefuls of stock, stirring and allowing each ladleful
to be absorbed before adding the next. This will take about 15 minutes.
- Taste the rice - is it cooked? Carry on adding stock until the rice
is soft but with a slight bite. Check seasoning.
Serve it on its own or with a crisp green salad and a hunk of crusty bread.
- Remove from the heat and add the butter and the Parmesan, saving a
little of the latter to go on top if you like. Stir gently.
- Eat it as soon as possible while it retains its moist texture.