1 onion diced (usually white)
herb – depending on what else you add but mostly thyme, lots
generous knob of butter
1 cup full of carnaroli or other risotto rice
3/4 pint vegetable stock
Fry the onion until soft but not brown. Add the herbs and the rice. Stir until well coated with the buttery onions.
Add the optional ingredients now (see below).
Start to add the stock, until absorbed by the rice. It should cook wet for about 15 minutes. to my mind risotto is somewhere between a soup and a pilaff. It should not be dry though the rice should have a hint bite.
For mushroom risotto (brown),
dried porcini soaked and cut into bite size pieces
sliced and fried (sage or thyme) mushrooms – no need to go fancy as white cap will be fine to bulk out the porcini
Use the water from the soaking to make up the stock.
If no bits are required (children alert) then puree the fried mushrooms with the porcini and add ladle by ladle with the stock. For some reason, smooth risottos are much more prone to burning so need to be watched.
For a green risotto:
Green vegetables including combinations of peas and asparagus, broccoli (good on its own or with peas,green beans etc)
I’ve never seen the appeal of a bright green smooth risotto but you could go that route by pureeing the vegetables and adding by ladle.
For a pink risotto:
1/2 onion fried, probably with dill
3-4 cooked beetroot, chopped
Blend the beetroot with the onion and add ladle by ladle. Bits are okay but smooth is better.
For an orange risotto:
Half a butternut squash baked or fried with some sage.
Bits are okay but smooth is better. Real comfort food.
For a cheese risotto (cream):
Soak a mozzarella (about 100g) in milk for a couple of hours with some bay leaves. Use the milk with the stock to make up the risotto.
Add the mozzarella, 100g gorgonzola and 100g grated parmesan with the milky stock until cooked.
Watch carefully and stir continually or it will burn!