Sunday, September 14, 2008

Risotto with Ricotta and Basil

This is a well-flavored Italian risotto, which benefits from the distinct pungency of basil, mellowed with smooth ricotta cheese. Recipe serves 3-4.


3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups risotto rice
4 cups hot chicken or vegetable stock
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
Generous 1 cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped, plus extra to garnish
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan or flameproof casserole and fry the onion over a gentle heat until soft.
2. Tip in the rice. Cook for a few minutes, stirring, until the rice is coated with oil and is slightly translucent.
3. Pour in about a quarter of the stock. Cook, stirring, until all the stock has been absorbed, then add another large spoonful. Continue in this manner, adding more stock when the previous spoonful has been absorbed, until the risotto has been cooking for about 20 minutes and the rice is just tender.
4. Spoon the ricotta into a bowl and break it up a little with a fork. Stir into the risotto along with the basil and Parmesan. Taste and adjust the seasoning, then cover and let stand for 2-3 minutes before serving, garnished with basil leaves.

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