Pea (and Ham) Risotto
This is one of the easiest risottos ever, no patient ladling of hot stock into awaiting rice, all the stock gets added at once and the dish is allowed to simmer away until ready. It’s delicious on its own as a vegetarian meal, but if you’re more carnivore you can add in some shredded ham hock, chunks of ham from the deli counter or even lightly fried pancetta.
Melt about 10g of butter in a small pan and add in 100g frozen peas and gently cook until the peas are defrosted and cooked through. Transfer the peas to a blender along with 1 tbs grated parmesan cheese and another knob of butter and blitz until it’s a green puree.
In a large saucepan melt another 20g of butter and 1 tbs of olive oil and gently sweat a finely diced small onion and 2 cloves of crushed garlic until the onion is soft. Whilst the onion is softening make up 1.5 litres of vegetable stock (I’m a big fan of Swiss Marigold stock powder) or heat up ready prepared vegetable or chicken stock. Once the onion is soft add 150g of frozen peas, the pea puree and 250g risotto rice and give everything a stir. Finely chop a handful of fresh parsley and a bunch of mint and add the herbs to the pot, reserving some of the parsley for a nice green garnish.
Bring the mixture to the boil. It will look like soup, and you’ll think that you’ve added in far too much liquid. Fear not, this is where the magic happens! Once the mixture is bubbling turn the heat down and allow to cook out for about 15-20 minutes or until the rice is cooked and the soupy risotto is thick. Just before serving spoon through another 4 tbs of grated parmesan, and if you’re adding ham, now is the time to add. Ladle into big bowls, grating on more parmesan and garnishing with the reserved parsley.
Its cold and very windy outside today, so this warming carbs comfort food is just what I needed after a very cold and windy run this afternoon.