2 good pinches of saffron threads
1 large onion, chopped finely
1-2 garlic cloves, crushed
90 g (3 oz) 6 tbsp butter
350 g (12 oz) 1 2/3 cups arborio (risotto) rice
150 ml (1/4 pint) 2/3 cup dry white wine
1.2 litres (2 pints) 5 cups boiling stock (chicken, beef or vegetable)
90 g (3 oz) 3/4 cup Parmesan, grated
salt and pepper
1. Put the saffron in a small bowl, cover with 3 - 4 tablespoons of boiling water and leave to soak while cooking the risotto.
2. Fry the onion and garlic in 60 g (2 oz) of the butter until soft but not coloured. Add the rice and continue to cook for 2 - 3 minutes or until all of the grains are coated in oil and just beginning to colour lightly.
3. Add the wine to the rice and simmer gently, stirring from time to time, until it is all absorbed.
4. Add the boiling stock a little at a time, about 150 ml (1/4 pint) 2/3 cup, cooking
until the liquid is fully absorbed before adding more, and stirring frequently.
5. When all the stock has been absorbed . (this should take about 20 minutes), the rice should be tender but not soft and soggy. Add the saffron liquid, Parmesan, remaining butter and salt and pepper to taste. Leave to simmer for 2 minutes until piping hot and thoroughly mixed.
6. Cover the pan tightly and leave to stand for 5 minutes off the heat. Give a good stir and serve at once.
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