Risotto ai carciofi

Risotto with artichokes
Serves 4 to 6

1 small yellow onion
2 tbsp olive oil
85g butter
4 – 6 small artichokes
½ lemon
500g risotto rice, preferably carnaroli or arborio
250 ml dry white wine
1.5 litres chicken stock
75g parmesan cheese, grated
freshly ground black pepper

Prepare the artichokes. Peel off hard outer leaves until your reach the soft waxy ones. Peel stalk. Remove choke if necessary. Slice artichokes and immediately soak in acidulated water (water with juice of half a lemon).

Finely chop the onion. Heat the stock and keep it on a constant simmer.

In a large, heavy-bottomed pan, sweat the onion in some butter. Cook until the onion is cooked but not browned. Add the rice, stirring to coat the grains in the butter. Stir the rice until the grains begin to go translucent. Add the wine and stir until the wine is absorbed. Add the drained artichokes.

Start adding the hot stock, a ladle at a time, allowing the liquid to be completely absorbed before adding the next. Stir continuously for about 15 minutes. Keep the heat quite high throughout the cooking period.

Test the rice and if necessary, add more stock. The rice is done when the outside is tender but the centre is still slightly hard. At this stage, take the rice off the heat immediately as it will continue to cook. Leave it to rest for a minute. Add the butter first and then the cheese while whisking vigorously. Season with pepper and salt (if necessary)
Serve immediately.

The risotto should be creamy and is usually eaten with a fork.

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