About the Recipe
This recipe comes from a family cook book of authentic Italian kitchen, kindly shared with me by my friend Alex. Cook up a lunch or dinner and set a table, outside if you can, and enjoy the flavours and dream about your next holiday, preferably with a glass of wine!
Arborio Rice* measured to the 350ml level in a jug
1 sachet of powdered saffron
1 medium onion chopped
125g quartered mushrooms
Glass of white wine
1.2 litres of hot chicken stock
Salt and Pepper
Melt half the butter in a heavy-based saucepan, add the chopped onion, cook over a low heat for few minutes then add the mushrooms, cook for about 10 minutes until soften.
Stir in the rice and cook for a minute or two before adding the wine and some salt. Stir gently once, then simmer over a low heat, without a lid, until the liquid has been absorbed (about 10-15 minutes).
Now put in a ladleful of the boiling stock and again let it simmer until the stock has nearly all been absorbed but the rice is still moist. Continue adding the boiling stock a ladleful at a time until the rice is tender but still creamy. Keep stirring. There should still be a very little liquid visible - a risotto should be soupy rather than mushy. Stir as necessary to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan - particulary towards the end.
When the rice is cooked (with a little bite - al dente) remove the pan from the heat, stir in the ladle full of stock with the saffron added in, then the remaining butter and Parmesan cheese.
Cover and leave to stand, off the heat, for 5 minutes before serving. Season to taste.
This recipe come from Alex's family cook book, read the story of how the book came to be below:
"I created a cookery book with all my mothers classic recipes that she would cook for us throughout my childhood. My mum was Swiss Italian and although her mother was very English, she was brought up in Lugano in Switzerland, in a big house with a cook. She would spend much of her childhood watching and tasting as “Rosa”, the family cook, would cook. So as a child I did the same. I was always in the kitchen watching my mum cook.
As I seemed to be the only member of my family to have done this, I decided to share all my mum’s recipes, after she died in 2011 with not only my siblings, but her siblings and their children too. It went down very well, as her siblings were aware of the various recipes but nothing was ever written down. It was a challenge to write it all, because my mum used measurements from her head and cooked by taste. So it was always a handful of this or a glug of that. I had to do a lot of research to translate a glug and a handful!
So as for me, I was brought up in West Sussex but have lived in Basingstoke since I got married to Simon 38 years ago. I have three grown up children. My daughter as I write is 38 weeks pregnant so I am about to become a “Nonna” any day. Nonna because my Mum was “Granny” to my children as her Mum was English, and she , my mum’s mum, was Nonna to us. So it seemed the right thing to do. My middle son James is a Ski Instructor in the winter and a Painter and decorator in the Summer. My youngest has just got a job up at the Hospital as a Porter.
I am a very busy bunny. I have many jobs. I am a Financial Director for my bother’s timber company, I do my Simon's books as he is a local handyman, and I have a fantastic side hustle as a Tropic Skincare Ambassador (my passion). I also volunteer for the NCT, so never a dull a moment. My hobbies are singing, cooking and since lockdown I have got back into growing vegetables.
I am a passionate ECO nut and try and save the planet where ever I can. If you want to know more about Tropic then do get in touch. Vegan, Eco friendly (carbon negative), freshly made to order in the UK and all toxic chemical and preservative free. Go and have a peep here www.tropicskincare.com/alexnicholls or here https://www.facebook.com/tropicwithAlex/