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Risotto, basic

Rice, Pasta &



  • approx. 1 litre stock (chicken, fish or vegetable)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 finely chopped shallots or 2 medium onions
  • ½ a head of celery, finely chopped
  • salt and black pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 400 g risotto rice
  • 100 ml dry white vermouth (dry Martini) or dry white wine
  • 70g butter
  • 85-100 g freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Stage 1

  • 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.

Stage 2

  • 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.

Stage 3

  • 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.
Serve it on its own or with a crisp green salad and a hunk of crusty bread.

Serves 6


Recipe from:

The Naked Chef.

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