Easy Peasy Recipes – Risotto 101

If you love Italian food, then step back from the pizza and spaghetti carbonara, and try the very easy (and delicious) risotto. It’s the ultimate creamy, rich, and smooth rice dish which is relatively easy on your pocket and is also quite versatile. This recipe is for a basic risotto base, in which you can add whatever takes your fancy (or whatever is in your cupboards!).

Serves 2


  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 140g risotto rice (AKA Arborio rice)
  • Half a glass of white wine (optional)
  • 500ml hot chicken stock
  • 60g cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1tsp dried mixed herbs
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 8 basil leaves, roughly chopped (optional)


Tip! Stirring the risotto continuously is very important if you want a lovely, creamy and oozy dish. This is because stirring helps to break down the starch in the rice, thickening the sauce.

Tip! Beating in the cheese at the end helps to create a smooth, glossy risotto.



  1. Fry the onion and garlic in the oil for around 5 to 10 minutes over a medium to low heat, or until softened. Add the rice and fry for a couple of minutes, remembering to stir continuously, or until it begins to look a little translucent, but not browned.
  2. Add the wine (or an equivalent amount of stock if not using), and stir until the liquid has evaporated, or been absorbed.
  3. Pour in about a quarter of the stock and keep stirring until it has mostly been absorbed by the rice (but don’t let it dry out completely). Repeat this step another 3 times, using a quarter of the stock each time, and stirring all the while. This should take around 20 minutes, and more stock may need to be added until the rice is cooked through and soft.
  4. Once the risotto is cooked, and is thick and creamy but not completely dried out or stodgy, take it off the heat and beat in the cheese. Stir in the dried mixed herbs, the salt and pepper, and the basil leaves (if using).
  5. To finish, add whatever you like! We recommend a cooked meat such as bacon or chicken.

Ruth Pengelly

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