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Basic Wine Risotto With Variations

Basic Wine Risotto With Variations

Risotto, creamy and well-flavoured, is a fabulous meal to enjoy any time. From this basic recipe you an prepare any number of variations - like those listed here.


  • 75 grams butter
  • 2 onions, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 cups short grain rice (see Cook’s Tip)
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • about 3-4 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 1 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup cream
  • salt and pepper


  1. Heat the butter in a large saucepan and cook the onion over a low heat for 10-15 minutes until softened but not coloured. Stir regularly. Add the garlic and cook a further 2 minutes.
  2. Add the rice and toss over the heat until the rice whitens.
  3. Add the wine and stir over a moderately low heat until all the liquid has been absorbed. Then add the stock, about 1/4 cup at a time stirring frequently to ensure a creamy textured risotto. It will take about 30 minutes to add all the stock.
  4. Once you have a creamy texture and the rice is cooked but not overcooked to a mush stir in the Parmesan cheese and cream. Season well with salt and pepper.
  5. Serve with one of the following toppings, either folded through or on top. Garnish with proscuitto and extra Parmesan cheese if wished.

Mushroom and red wine

  1. Use red wine in place of white wine. Cook 250 grams finely sliced mushrooms (gourmet brown, button, flat or wild) in 25 grams butter until wilted. Fold through the risotto just before serving. Serve on top of grilled flat mushrooms garnished with grilled proscuitto, sundried tomatoes and parsley.

Fennel and prawn

  1. Add 1 cup of diced fennel bulb with the onion. Use fish stock instead of chicken stock. Add 400 grams shelled green prawns when the risotto is cooked and stir gently until the prawns are pink-coloured and cooked.

Chicken and tomato risotto (pictured)

  1. Finely slice 1 double breast of chicken and cook quickly in a hot pan in 25 grams butter. Add 2 diced juicy tomatoes, 2 tablespoons chopped parsley and season with salt and pepper. Grill 4-6 slices of prosciutto ham until crisp. Top the basic risotto with chicken and prosciutto.

Scallop and olive risotto

  1. Make the risotto with fish stock instead of chicken. Slice 250 grams of scallops in half and panfry with ¼ cup finely chopped shallots in 25 grams butter until the scallops are browned and cooked. Toss in ¼ cup chopped stuffed olives and 2 tablespoons chopped marjoram. Serve on top of the basic risotto with plenty of parmesan at hand.

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