This beautiful risotto couldn't be more simple. The secret to any good risotto is threefold:
1) Ensure you cook the onions slowly and gently - this helps the onion impart it's natural sweetness to the dish and cooks off the acidity.
2) Slowly add in your stock a ladleful at a time to start with, do not add it all at once at the start of the process (a homemade stock is unbeatable but a stock cube will do, preferably chicken stock for this Risotto), this is the backbone to your Risotto.
3) Stir the rice constantly while adding the stock. This will add air into the Risotto, and help give it a wonderful creamy texture found in every great Risotto.
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Spices used: Saffron (The Gunpowder Spice Chest)
Video tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNxdw8cuFJw
1 1/2 tbsp Olive oil
Knob of butter (approx 25 grams)
400G Arborio Risotto Rice
1 Onion, finely chopped or grated - grating helps the onion break down more effectively so you don't get big bits of onion in your Risotto! Also great if you aren't confident with a knife. However if you grate be warned, it will make your eyes water more than if you had chopped!
1 1/4 glass of white wine
1 litre of hot chicken stock (vegetable stock will work as well)
A pinch of saffron (0.3 grams)
Put your olive oil in a pot or pan over a medium heat. Put in the onions and gently fry until translucent, cook for around 5 minutes until soft.
Add in your Risotto rice and toast for 2 minutes in the pan, ensuring that you keep stirring so nothing burns.
Pour in your wine and stir until the white wine has been absorbed by the rice. When the wine hits the pan it should bubble a little, but not violently.
Add in a ladle of your stock and stir - keep stirring until around 90% has been absorbed. Repeat. After doing this twice, add in the rest off your stock, reserving around 100 ml's incase you need more. From here we cook the rice for 10 minutes on a medium heat so there is a light bubble. You'll know if it's too hot if your rice starts sticking anywhere.
Take your saffron and submerge in a small amount of boiling hot water and stir to diffuse the colour and flavour into the water. After 10 minutes of adding stock and stirring, add in your saffron mix and cook for another 5 minutes. There should be some liquid left in here and the saffron will start imparting it's colour and flavour to the risotto, turning a beautiful golden colour. If there is a lack of liquid add in the reserve stock.
When the rice is cooked turn off your heat. Add in a small splash of wine to add body and depth, your butter in cubes and your parmesan and stir rigorously. This step known as 'Mantecatura' and adds an amazing smooth creaminess to your Risotto. Season with salt to taste. Serve on warm plates.
Tip: If you've finished a block of parmesan off save the rind (the end bit of the cheese). If you have rind left over it's a fantastic way to add more depth into any Risotto. If you have it leftover then add immediately after you add your saffron. Remove the rind just before serving.