I haven't done any cooking at all for the past fortnight. We've been doing some serious work to our home, so we've been too busy to think about food, let alone make it. Take-away has been our only sustenance. But now, as the paint has dried and business has returned to usual, we are back in the kitchen. As it's cold and wet outside and comfort food (and an open fire) are in order, risotto seemed like the perfect choice. This time we opted for a leek and mushroom one, with a nice bit of cheese thrown in for good measure. This will feed two decidedly pooped painters.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 medium leeks (white and light green parts only), finely chopped
3½ oz (100 g) chestnut mushrooms, chopped
10½ oz (300 g) Italian carnaroli rice
1¾ pints (1 litre) hot vegetable stock (from Marigold Swiss bouillon powder)
4½ fl oz (125 ml) dry white wine
3½ oz (100 g) Dolcelatte cheese, cut into tiny cubes
2 oz (50 g) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Begin by putting the kettle on to boil the water for the stock. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and add the onion, garlic, leek and mushrooms (see photo below), then fry gently for about 5 minutes until softened. Make up the vegetable stock and set aside until it's needed.
Add the rice to the frying pan and stir everything around so the rice gets a coating of the oil (see photo below). Turn up the heat and cook for a minute or so, stirring constantly, until the rice becomes slightly translucent. Add the white wine and keep on stirring until it has been absorbed by the rice.
Once the rice has absorbed the wine, add a good seasoning of salt and pepper and the first ladle of stock and turn the heat down to a simmer.
Cook, stirring constantly, until the first ladle of stock has been absorbed, then add another. Once the stock has been absorbed, add another. Then go on adding one ladle at a time, waiting for it to be absorbed before adding another, until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender (see photo below). This should take about 15-20 minutes.
Stir in the Dolcelatte, then remove the pan from the heat and season to taste. Stir in the Parmesan, then place a lid on the pan (or cover with foil) and leave to rest for 2 to 3 minutes before serving. The cheese will make this a nice and gloopy dish, but the rice should have maintained its shape.