I love a good risotto, and I’ll be honest – I’m pretty awesome at making them (just ask James).
This one is based on a recipe by the wonderful Lucas Hollweg, with adaptations. If you haven’t heard of Lucas’ book Good Things To Eat then you’re seriously missing out. I bought a copy when I moved in with James over a year ago, and so far it’s been my go to for food that’s fun to make as well as to eat, throughout the seasons. The macaroni cheese with bacon and mushrooms is a firm, decadent, favourite with us and I love the tomato and cumin soup. The chocolate marmalade slump cake in particular went down very well at work! In general, this book is great for all occasions and you should buy it. So there.
Back to risotto – I think the most cooked recipes (or at least the ones with the most stained pages) in my book are the risottos. The mascarpone and leek risotto is great comfort food, but for this I adapted the recipe for a kale and pancetta risotto.
I will admit to never actually having made this with kale and pancetta, but always with spinach and chorizo. But as Mr H himself says, ‘You can make risotto with almost anything’. The original recipe also calls for Parmesan which I swapped for Comté, as my favourite cheese (and high on my list of favourite things in the world ever).
60g Chorizo, chopped
2 handfuls baby spinach
1 litre chicken stock (I used lamb as I was out of chicken – it kept a great comforting, meaty flavour and works well with the rosemary)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Leaves from 1 spring of rosemary, chopped if you wish
175g Arborio rice
100ml dry white wine
50g Comté, grated
Black pepper to taste
Pour the stock into a saucepan, and leave to simmer on the lowest heat. I normally add the spinach to this for it to slightly soften (but not wilt too much), and remove to leave on the side once it’s done.
Heat the chorizo in a big pan, stirring to give up it’s fat and slightly brown. Turn down the heat slightly, and throw in the onion, garlic, half of the butter and some of the rosemary – leave out what you’ll be wanting to top the finished dish with later. Mix all together until the onions and garlic have turned orange from the juice of the chorizo, and cook over a low heat to soften the onion.
Add the rice to the big pan and stir to coat in the fat. Turn the heat up and add the wine, stirring until it has mostly been absorbed. Add a ladle of the stock and stir this in until it has evaporated, and keep doing so until the rice has reached an al dente texture. Lucas says this should take 17-20 minutes, and I’ve found this to be a pretty good guide.
Once it’s reached this stage, add the soft spinach in and stir to distribute. Stir in the remaining butter and the Comté, and add pepper to taste. Cover and leave to stand off the heat for 3 minutes. When serving, add the remaining rosemary on top as you wish. This should now smell too incredible to put off eating for any longer than you literally have to, so dive in!