Risotto should, ideally, be a no-fuss food. There’s a reason it’s called comfort food. Then again, the comfort also comes from the process of making it. Having said that, my kitchen is unfortunately terribly small and uncomfortable; whoever designed it obviously does not cook and/or understand the concept of ventilation.
I got this recipe from my lovely darling, Pei Ni. I think she stayed more or less true to Jamie Oliver’s recipe, although I took out the goat cheese because I don’t eat enough of it to justify buying an entire block. I’m sure the goat cheese would’ve been lovely, though. Perhaps another time. Instead, I added a generous amount of nutmeg to the risotto because nutmeg and spinach go together like, I don’t know, pork and pears. Jamie Oliver’s original recipe did call for a dash of nutmeg, so that’s there then.
I really like this risotto because it’s quite light and amazingly full of flavour, considering that there’s really not much ingredients in there. And I suppose it’s a really good basic recipe for a risotto. I’m sure you can dress it up with things other than goat cheese, if you really want to – bacon, mushrooms etc. I’ve left the original recipe virtually intact (sans the goat cheese), except I used a bit more spinach and garlic because, well, greens are good for you, and tweaked a bit of the measurements here and there.
(Adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Spinach and Goat Cheese Risotto)
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to dress
150 g spinach
1 tsp ground nutmeg, to taste
25 g unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
150 g arborio rice (or any other risotto rice you prefer)
100 mL dry white wine
700 mL chicken or vegetable stock
50 g parmesan, grated
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Add 1 tbsp olive oil to a frying pan and add the spinach. Season generously with salt, black pepper and nutmeg. Cover the frying pan until the spinach is wilted. Leave the spinach to cool slightly and then chop finely into small pieces or whizz it in a food processor. In the meantime, let the stock simmer in a saucepan with the stove on very low heat.
To make the risotto, add the remaining olive oil and about half the butter to a large saucepan or pot. Tip in the onions and garlic, stirring with a wooden spoon occasionally until the onions are translucent. Then add the rice and let it toast for about 2 or 3 minutes, stirring often. Add the white wine, letting it bubble away. Then add the simmering stock, one ladleful at a time, stirring after each ladle. Do not add the next ladle until the rice has absorbed all the stock. It should take about 18 to 20 minutes for the rice to cook; you may not need all the stock. After the rice is cooked, take it off the heat and stir in the spinach, most of the grated parmesan and the remaining butter. Serve the risotto in small bowls, topping off with the remaining parmesan and a splash of olive oil.