Risotto is a perfect week night supper. Not only is it quick and easy but we're great believers that the process of standing over a risotto pot while it simmers away is incredibly relaxing - just the thing for switching off after a long day. The result of course is a creamy rice dish that's as delicious as it is comforting.
30g (1 oz) butter
1 onion, finely chopped
125g (4 oz) ham, chopped
400g (13 oz) arborio or carnaroli rice
125ml (4 oz) dry white wine
125g gruyére cheese, cut into small dice
60g (2oz) freshly grated parmesan cheese
Bring the stock to a gentle simmer in a large saucepan. Meanwhile, heat 30g (1 oz) of the butter in a large, heavy-based saucepan.
Add the onion and cook, stirring, over a moderate heat for 5 minutes, or until soft.
Add the ham and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the rice to the onion and stir gently for 2 minutes to coat the rice grains with a little butter.
Keep adding the simmering stock, a ladle at a time, to the rice mixture. The rice must be allowed to absorb the liquid before more stock is added. Stir frequently and often, and add more stock as required. It will take about 20 minutes to cook. Taste the rice - it should be soft but still retain a little bite.
Remove from the heat and add the gruyére, grated parmesan cheese and chives. Cover and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving. Season to taste.
You can add almost anything you like to risotto. Try different combinations of herbs, sautéed mushrooms, cooked vegetables, cooked meats and seafood. Add ingredients towards the end of cooking. Don't be tempted to leave out the resting at the end of cooking - it marries all the flavours together.
This originally appeared on House & Garden UK.