Cheese and ham are no longer solely reserved for sandwiches - they make a wonderful risotto too!
- 400ml (14fl oz) red wine
- 600ml (1pt) chicken stock
- 2tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 250g (9oz) risotto rice, such as carnaroli
- 175g (6oz) cooked smoked or unsmoked ham, shredded
- 1tbsp Parmesan, finely grated
- 25g (1oz) butter
- 100g (4oz) blue cheese, cut into small cubes
It's important to keep the red wine and stock separate. Adding the red wine first means that you can cook out the alcohol for a rich-tasting risotto.
Heat the wine and stock in separate saucepans to simmering point. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and cook the onion for 5 minutes until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, then tip in the rice and stir well so that each grain is coated with the oil. Gradually add the wine, a ladleful at a time, stirring continuously until absorbed. Once all the wine has been absorbed, start adding the chicken stock, a ladleful at a time. Continue stirring for 15 to 20 minutes, until the rice is cooked.
Stir in the ham, Parmesan and butter, remove from the heat, cover and leave for 2 to 3 minutes. To serve, give the risotto a final stir, check the seasoning and spoon into warmed bowls. Scatter the blue cheese over the top.