You need to give yourselves TIME for this – you really shouldn’t leave this dish to do itself.
You need to be there stirring, stirring, stirring! Allow about 40 mins.
What you’ll need…
A heavy flat-bottomed pan with fairly low sides – ie not a saucepan.
Ingredients for a couple of generous portions ….
Glug of olive oil and lump of butter
1 small white onion – finely chopped
6oz Risotto rice – my fav is Carnaroli – seems to make the risotto extra creamy somehow – Arborio is absolutely fine too. I used a 1/2 cup to measure and then used the cup as my ladle.
Glass white wine (optional, but hey! you get to drink the rest, right?)
Pear of your choice – whatever looks nice to you! Chopped up into little cubes. You can keep the peel on, it softens nicely and gives the dish a little colour. (I didn’t this time, but usually do!)
Gorgonzola – either the creamy mild one or the more crumbly stronger one – I used a mix of the 2. Cut up into little cubes.
Handful of parsley. (Again, for colour.)
Seasoning to taste – freshly ground pepper and fresh ground rock salt.
Stock – I use chicken stock, although if you want to keep it strictly veggie, vegetable stock will be very good too. Now, I do not bother with making my own stock very often. I like the cubes and the new stock jelly cubes from Knorr. I use a mix of the 2 (one of each) in about a litre and half of water. If you like making your own stock, knock yourselves out, it’ll be undoubtedly delicious! My reasoning behind not doing it is that I usually make my mind up to do risotto pretty much last minute – I don’t give myself enough time to make my own stock!
Putting it all together ….
First get your stock on the boil in the saucepan and then turn it down to a bare simmer. Keeping it very hot is, as far as I’m concerned, essential to a good risotto.
In your pan generously glug in your oil and melt the butter gently over a medium heat.
When the butter has melted, add the onion and break up with the wooden spoon.
Cook the onion without allowing it to brown until it’s softened and a little translucent.
Add the rice and stir until all the grains are coated in the oil/butter. Keep stirring gently to prevent the rice from sticking or browning. After a few minutes, the rice will look a little bit see-through on the edges.
Turn the heat up very slightly until you can hear the rice and onion cooking. Add the glass of wine (or a ladle of stock if you’re not using wine) – you should hear a very satisfying sizzling sound!
Keep stirring until the wine has been absorbed. Add a ladleful of stock and stir through. Keep gently stirring! Stirring keeps the risotto from sticking and breaks down the starches in the rice – the starch is what makes the risotto lovely and creamy.
After the 3rd ladleful of stock, before you start your stirring, add your apple cubes, then start your stirring again.
Stir in a gentle figure of 8 with a circuit of the pan after the ‘8’ to bring the risotto together again. Sort of a ‘8’ followed by ‘0’ …
Keep adding ladlefuls of stock, one at a time until the risotto is creamy, thick and the grains of rice still have a little ‘bite’ to the centre of them. (Al dente). Turn off the heat and stir through the cheese and the parsley. Check and season to taste. Let it sit for a minute or so before serving. It shouldn’t be dry nor soupy – but something between the 2. If it’s too dry, add a little of the stock and stir that through.
(NB . Don’t forget to turn the heat off the stock at the end of making the risotto too!)
Serve in warmed bowls. Have the white wine used for this dish (if there’s any left!).