I’m not exactly Nigella in the kitchen but I do enjoy cooking, and before I went off to university (which was a while ago now) my mum told me I should learn one good recipe which I could cook for my friends when they came over – risotto.
I cooked it so often that it got to the point when my friends would say “I’d love to come over for supper but will it be risotto?” The answer was (and is still) probably!
I wasn’t quite expecting the weather to still be so good so when I invited some friends over I planned to cook my favourite (you’ve guessed it) risotto. It’s really simple to make and quite hard to get wrong. Today I opted for chorizo, pancetta and mushroom but you can add pretty much whatever you want.
For four/five hungry people you will need:
500g Arborio risotto rice
1 onion (I prefer red onions but you can also use white)
1 punnet of mushrooms
1 pack of pancetta
1 chorizo sausage (the slices don’t work so well)
1 glass of white wine (and another to drink while you cook)
Some grated Parmesan to go on top
Firstly you need to wash and cut the mushrooms (they always shrink so you can chop them quite big)
Put them in a frying pan with a little oil until they turn a nice shade of brown and look cooked (probably about 5 minutes).
While they’re cooking chop up the chorizo, then fry that too.
Then you can fry up the pancetta.
Once they’re all cooked set them to one side and try not to eat them! (I usually fail at this bit).
Next is the ricey bit. Melt some butter in a big pan (a wok works quite well) and add the chopped onion.
Fry the onion until it’s a golden brown, then add the rice and toss it around a bit in the pan before adding boiling water (enough to cover the rice). Some people add stock to the water too, but I just forgot to do that today. It doesn’t look too appealing at this stage but trust me, it’ll get there.
Keep stirring, and adding more water until the rice is soft and no longer crunchy (probably takes about 20 minutes). And if you’re going to wander off then make sure you don’t do what I often do and leave a plastic spoon in it, otherwise it’ll melt and create a bit of a mess… Once most of the water has been absorbed you should then add the wine and continue to stir for about another 5 minutes. If it cooks too quickly then you just want to turn the heat down so it doesn’t bubble too much. It should start to look like this.
Finally you want to add in the chorizo, pancetta and mushrooms, and give it all a good stir.
Then you’re pretty much done. Serve it up, add the grated parmesan and voila!
It probably takes about 45 minutes to cook in total, all the ingredients cost about £10 and if there’s any left over then you can have it for lunch the next day so it’s a pretty cheap meal but it still tends to impress.
My friend Harry has recently made a very appealing risotto too, so look at her recipe for further ideas – http://hashtagcake.me/2014/07/15/butternut-squash-risotto/