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Sun Dried Tomato Risotto

The finished risotto should have moist but separate grains. This is achieved by adding the hot stock a little at a time, only adding more when the last addition has been absorbed. Don't leave the risotto to cook by itself: it needs constant checking to see when more liquid is required.

A Milanese risotto can be cooked in a variety of ways - but always with saffron. This version with sun-dried tomatoes has a lovely tangy flavour.

ingredients

serves 4
1 tbsp olive oil
25 g (1 oz) 2 tbsp butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
350 g (12 oz) arborio (risotto) rice, washed
about 15 strands of saffron
150 mI (1/4 pint) 2/3 cup white wine
850 ml (1 1/2 pints) 3 3/4 cup hot vegetable or chicken stock
8 sun-dried tomatoes, cut into strips
100 g (3 1/2 oz) frozen peas, defrosted
50 g (1 3/4 oz) Parma ham (prosciutto), shredded
75 g (2 3/4 oz) Parmesan cheese, grated

method

1. Heat the oil and butter in a large frying pan (skillet). Add the onion and cook for 4-5 minutes or until softened.

2. Add the rice and saffron to the frying pan (skillet), stirring well to coat the rice in the oil, and cook for 1 minute.

3. Add the wine and stock slowly to the rice mixture in the pan, a ladleful at a time, stirring and making sure that all the liquid is absorbed before adding the next ladleful of liquid.

4. About half-way through adding the stock, stir in the sun-dried tomatoes.

5. When all of the wine and stock has been absorbed, the rice should be cooked. Test by tasting a grain - if it is still crunchy, add a little more water and continue cooking. It should take 15-20 minutes to cook.

6. Stir in the peas, Parma ham (prosciutto) and cheese. Cook for 2 - 3 minutes, stirring, until hot. Serve with extra Parmesan.

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