Side, Starter, Vegetarian

Nigella’s Pea Risotto

Serves: 4

How can you not love Nigella?

She is everything in food we want but dare not eat: butter, lard, bread, chocolate and cream.

Which is probably why it has been years since I last cooked this particular recipe, though memorable enough that it beat hundreds of recipes in the backlog to make it online.

The pea puree component is on another planet and you will be strong not to eat it in isolation.

Also, adding the oil to the butter apparently stops the butter from melting though in this buttery, cheesey, gooey mess of goodness, you’re not seriously going to pull back from a drop of oil?

Open a beer, cook this and stay warm one winter’s weekend lunch.

It is worth every calorie.

60gm butter
150gm frozen peas
1l chicken stock
Grated nutmeg
2 tbsp grated Parmesan
1 small onion, finely chopped
Drop of oil
200g arborio rice
80ml white wine or vermouth

Method

  1. Melt 1/3 of the butter and add the frozen peas. Cook for 2 minutes until defrosted then remove 1/2 the peas and add a ladle of stock to the remaining peas. Pop on the lid and boil for 5 minutes until soft. Puree this with 1 tbsp parmesan, 1 tbsp butter and a pinch of pepper and nutmeg. Check the seasoning and dial up the nutmeg if you so desire.
  2. Turn the heat down and melt the remaining butter and the drop of oil. Add your onion and cook for 1 minute. Don’t let it brown. Add the rice and stir to coat, turn the heat down and add a ladle of stock, cooking down until absorbed. Repeat for 10 minutes, adding a splash of wine or water if and as need be.
  3. Add the reserved peas and continue to cook for another 5 – 10 minutes, continuing to add the stock and reducing slowly.
  4. When the risotto is cooked, beat in the pea puree and the extra tbsp. of parmesan and serve.
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