Risotto with Fennel and white wine (vegetarian)
750ml hot vegetable stock
2 tbsp olive oil
1 fennel bulb (about 200g), quartered and sliced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Knob of butter
3-4 shallots, finely diced
200g risotto rice, such as Carnaroli
100ml Dry white wine
20g fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
50g Castelli vegetarian Italian hard cheese, grated (or other Italian cheese if you are not a Veggie)
Bring the stock to a simmer in a small saucepan. In a frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over a medium-high heat. Add the fennel and garlic and season to taste. Cook for 15 minutes or until soft, stirring occasionally. Leave to one side.
Meanwhile, in a medium-sized heavy-based saucepan, heat the remaining oil and the butter over a medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring frequently, for 2-3 minutes or until soft but not coloured. Add the rice and stir to coat in the oil and butter for 2 minutes. Season with a little freshly milled pepper. Stir in half the wine and increase the heat to bring to a gentle boil.. When the liquid has been absorbed by the rice, start to add the hot stock, a ladleful at a time. Stir until the liquid is absorbed before adding the next ladle.
After about 20 minutes the rice should be creamy but still with a slight ‘bite'. Add the last ladleful of stock, along with the fennel, half the parsley, half the cheese and the remaining wine. Stir and season to taste then divide the risotto between 2 deep plates and serve immediately, with the remaining cheese and parsley scattered over the top. Great with a Watercress, roquette and spinach salad.