Riccardo’s risotto alla parmigiana for four people

Making a risotto is like making an architectural project. All the materials must be put in the right quantities and the right order in order to achieve a balanced, proportioned and delicious risotto. I make mine by eye and instinct, but for those new to risotto making I have tried to give guidance on the amounts needed.

Thin, wide-bottomed pan – essential
Butter – 100g
1 medium white onion – chopped fine
Carnaroli rice – 320g
Half glass of white wine (at room temperature)
Litre of vegetable broth (warm)
Parmigiana cheese (grated) – 80g

Melt half the butter over a low heat. Add the chopped onions and let them cook gently until golden (do not let them dry out). Throw in the rice and toast it for three or four minutes. While the rice is still crunchy, add the half glass of white wine and transfer the pan to top heat for one minute. Then take the pan back to the lower heat and begin adding the broth one small cup at a time. One of the secret tips from my mum is that rice needs to be badly treated, so keep steering it round the pan all the time! As each cup of broth soaks into the rice, add another cup – and so on and so on. Do not rush – risotto demands patience. Once the rice is cooked – but not over-cooked – stir in the cheese and the rest of the butter. Turn off the heat and let the risotto rest in the pan for two minutes before serving. Drink with a nice bottle of Bonarda or Lambrusco wine.

Riccardo Monte photographed at his studio and home by Alun Callender