Serves four as a first course or three as a main course.
YOU WILL NEED
1.25 litres chicken or vegetable stock
60g unsalted butter
1 tbsp olive oil
2 shallots, very finely chopped
1 celery stick, very finely chopped
300g Italian rice, preferably Arborio
½ organic lemon
5 or 6 fresh sage leaves
Leaves from small sprig of fresh rosemary
1 egg yolk
4 tbsps freshly grated Parmesan
4 tbsps double cream
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Bring the stock to a gentle simmer (keep it simmering all through the cooking of the rice).
Heat half the butter, the oil, shallots and celery in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and sauté until the soffritto -- frying mixture -- of shallot and celery is softened (about seven minutes).
Mix in the rice and continue to sauté, stirring, until the rice is well coated with the fats and is partly translucent.
Pour over about 150ml of the simmering stock.
Stir very thoroughly and cook until the rice has absorbed nearly all of the stock, still stirring. Add another ladleful of simmering stock, and continue in this manner until the rice is ready.
You may not need all the stock. Good-quality Italian rice for risotto takes 15-20 minutes to cook.
Meanwhile, thinly pare the zest from the lemon half and chop it with the herbs. Mix into the rice halfway through the cooking.
Squeeze the juice of the half lemon into a small bowl and combine it with the egg yolk, Parmesan, cream, a little salt and a very generous grinding of black pepper.
Mix well with a fork.
When the rice is al dente, draw the pan off the heat and stir in the egg and cream mixture and the remaining butter. Cover the pan and leave to rest for two minutes or so.
Then give the risotto an energetic stir, transfer to a heated dish or bowl and serve at once, with more grated Parmesan in a little bowl if you wish.