This classic Italian risotto with Parmesan cheese is creamy and full of flavour but is surprisingly easy to cook
- 75g unsalted butter
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 125ml vermouth (wine-based alcoholic drink)
- 200g carnaroli rice
- 450ml lightly flavoured chicken stock
- 3-4 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat 40g of the butter in a deep, heavy-based pan and gently fry the onion until softened, but not coloured.
Meanwhile heat the stock in a separate saucepan. Add the vermouth to the onions, turn up the heat and reduce until almost evaporated.
Add the rice and, stirring vigorously using a sturdy wooden spoon, allow the rice to become shiny with butter before adding a ladle of hot stock. Continuing to stir vigorously and let the rice absorb the stock before adding another ladleful.
Remove the risotto from the heat when the rice is becoming tender, but is still sloppy and dropping consistency. Immediately stir in two tbsps of cheese and the remaining butter. Cover and set aside for five mins.
Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper and vigorously beat the rice with a wooden spoon until slick and glossy; it should easily fall back on itself when lifted.
Spoon onto hot plates and take extra parmesan to the dinner table.
Top tip for making Simon Hopkinson’s risotto alla Parmigiana
A risotto needs to be stirred continuously or as often as you can while it's cooking. Add more stock as soon as the last ladleful has been absorbed and stir again.