This classic risotto makes a fabulous starter for six or will serve four as a main course and is a stylish meal to serve to friends. Always use a good full-bodied red wine and good quality stock – it will only taste as good as the ingredients you use. If liked you can cook a few bacon lardons or streaky bacon with the shallots too. Stir in a little parsley at the end of cooking if liked. Make this and serve immediately as risotto becomes thick and stodgy if kept warm.
- 50g butter
- 1tbsp olive oil
- 4 shallots, peeled and finely diced
- 200g risotto rice
- 500ml red wine
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 500ml vegetable or chicken stock
- Grated Parmesan, to serve
Heat the butter and oil in a large shallow pan. Add the shallots and cook for 5 mins until softened but not browned.
Add the rice and cook for 1 min until coated in the oil and butter. Add half the red wine and thyme and cook gently, stirring continuously, until the wine has been absorbed. Add a ladle full of the stock and cook gently, stirring continuously until the stock has been absorbed.
Continue adding the boiling stock and wine a little at a time until it has all been absorbed and the rice is rich, creamy, and tender. Remove the thyme sprigs. Season to taste and sprinkle with Parmesan to serve.
Look for Carnaroli or Arborio rice – they are the classic little round grains of rice used to make a creamy risotto.