My wife hates risotto. And kidneys. And a good rare steak. These just so happen to be 3 of my favourite things. So I suppose it is a good job that at times, opposites attract actually makes sense.
Not that it doesn't drive me mad. When I feel the need for any of those foodstuffs, I have to make two different meals. I now class a rare steak or a risotto as my Saturday night meal, or a meal I make for myself when my wife has gone out for the night. A little self indulgence, and no need to make two different meals.
Risotto is true comfort food. If you are feeling a little under the weather I find that warm savoury rice, sticky with strong Parmesan cheese, tends to lift the spirits. It is also a great dish to eat in those self indulgent moments, with a good bottle of wine on a Saturday night all to yourself and a movie of your choice on the box.
This risotto is one I turn to time and time again. No frills, just 20 minutes stood over the pan with a glass of wine and some music on. People tend to be put off making a risotto due to this essential 20 minutes of stirring. I find it comforting, therapeutic and peaceful, not to mention exciting as this classic Italian savoury dish slowly comes together to make for the perfect Saturday night food.
Pea, Mint and Saffron Risotto
100g risotto rice, such as Arbario or Carnaroli
400ml vegetable or chicken stock, boiling hot
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
A pinch of saffron
2 handfuls of frozen peas
A handful of fresh mint, chopped
25g Parmesan cheese, grated
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 - Heat the olive oil in a thick bottomed pan and add the onion. Cook until soft, around 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and rice and stir for 1 minute so that the rice is coated in the oil.
2 - Add the saffron, then add 1 ladleful of stock. Stir until the stock is absorbed and then continue to add ladlefuls of stock, stirring each time until absorbed. Do this for approximately 15-20 minutes.
3 - Test the rice. It should be soft but still retaining a bite. Stir in the peas. Taste for seasoning.
4 - Take off the heat and stir in the cheese and fresh mint. Spoon into a bowl and sprinkle over more Parmesan. Put your feet up and enjoy the peace!
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