Wednesday, 25 November 2009



There's something very therapeutic about making risotto, all that gentle stirring, gradually adding liquid, watching it all begin to soften and meld together. And then there's the eating. It's the ultimate comfort food: warming and soft in the mouth. It can be stylish and sophisticated or robust and homely, depending on what's in it.

I don't believe making risotto is a mystic art. The correct rice (though I sometimes use Spanish paella rice), and little patience is all that is required. It needs some attention towards the end to ensure the rice doesn't overcook, but otherwise it can be left to simmer away happily on its own while I watch 'Location Location Location' or 'How to Look Good Naked'. Just make sure it doesn't dry out. My favourite risottos are mushroom, roast squash with gorgonzola, and chicken.

Tuesday's supper risotto was made with the leftovers from a whole chicken I pot-roasted for supper on Sunday. I kept all the remaining sauce, vegetables and herbs that went in the pot with the chicken, and tossed all this into the rice, with the heel of the parmesan brought back from Liguria in September. During the course of the cooking, the cheese rind began to melt, enriching the sauce with a lovely creaminess. Except that I forgot to fish out the cheese rinds before serving....

Delicious with some steamed asparagus on the side and a glass of Pinot Grigio,

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