Risotto is really easy to make and the best thing about it is that, once you've got a decent basic recipe sorted, you can add just about anything you fancy. I'm making the most of asparagus season and thought I'd add in some goats cheese for good measure.
Jamie Oliver's basic risotto recipe, works every time. I adapted it slightly this time, as I wanted to cook the asparagus in the risotto. If you wanted, you could follow the basic recipe, cook the asparagus separately and add it at the end.
My version of Jamie's recipe below:
Ingredients (Serves two greedy gannets):
1 pint veg stock
1 knob of butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
Half a red onion onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
½ a head of celery, finely chopped
200g risotto rice (I use arborio rice. Make sure you do use risotto rice, or you won't get a creamy risotto)
1 small wine glass of dry white wine (you can use vermouth)
200g fresh asparagus, chopped in 1cm pieces
100g freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Handful of fresh herbs, roughly chopped (I used mint and parsley)
100g goats cheese (or as much, or as little, as you fancy)
Heat the stock in a saucepan and keep warm (not boiling)
In a separate pan, heat the olive oil and butter, add the onions and celery, and fry very slowly for about 10 minutes, without colouring. Add the garlic and gently cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Add the rice and turn up the heat (to medium)
Vigorously stir the rice for a minute or two, until it starts to look slightly translucent. Add the wine and keep stirring (the stirring is the key to a lovely creamy risotto)
Once the wine has cooked into the rice, add your first ladle of hot stock, a pinch of salt and the chopped asparagus.
Turn down the heat to a simmer so the rice doesn’t cook too quickly on the outside. Keep adding ladlefuls of stock and keep stirring. Allow each ladleful to be absorbed before adding the next.
This should take 10-15 minutes, until the rice is soft - you will need to taste it. If you run out of stock before the rice is cooked, add some boiling water.
Remove from the heat and add another knob of butter, parmesan and herbs. Stir well. Place a lid on the pan and allow to sit for 2 minutes.
Serve, with the goats cheese crumbled over the top. And probably some more parmesan too!