I have only recently started cooking risottos but now realise there is nothing to be afraid of- stirring slowly can be a contemplative process, especially with a glass of wine to sip alongside as you do so. This easy version is from ” The Art of the Larder” by Claire Thomson, my local but increasingly well known chef and food writer. You need good quality stock.
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt half the butter over a moderate heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and translucent, 8–10 minutes.
Add the rice, saffron and 1/2 teaspoon of salt, turning the heat up slightly. Move the rice about the pan, coating the grains and saffron strands in the hot fat. Do this for about 2 minutes.
Add the wine and stir until all the wine has evaporated.Reduce the heat back to moderate and add the first ladleful of hot stock to the pan. Stir continuously until all the liquid has evaporated.
Repeat with another ladleful of stock, stirring until evaporated.Do this until most or all of the stock is used up. Check the rice continually from about 12 minutes into the cooking time. You want the grains to be tender but with a modicum of bite left in the very centre.
When the rice is ready, add the remaining butter and half the Parmesan. Beat like you mean it! The risotto should be glossy and creamy. Take off the heat, put the lid on and rest the pan for 5 minutes.
Serve at the table with the remaining Parmesan to add per person.