The wine guy’s risotto

Two and a half years ago I met the wine guy at a party, his towering 2 meter frame leaning on my friend’s balcony. (To put towering in perspective, I’m 157cm/5’1″).

True love (the words of Miss 10) led to co-habitation and boxes of wine stacked all over the house – and a steady supply of chilled Sav blanc on hand for this recipe.

A warm delicious family staple meal in our home and sorry risotto snobs, anyone can make this.


Arborio rice (1/3 cup per person)
Olive oil (a Jamie Oliver size gloop) for frying
1/2 cup ice cold Sauvignon Blanc
1 glass of ice cold Sauvignon Blanc for the chef
Chicken stock (1 cup per person)
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan (more if you like it cheesy)
Chopped fresh parsely
Salt and pepper to season

a gloop of olive oil or a knob of butter
twigs of rosemary and thyme
clove of garlic (peeled)

Suggested additions:
If you are making it as a complete meal add vegies/meat when you stir in the cheese/parsley .  For us it’s usually a case of whatever’s in the fridge or ready in the garden.  Slice or dice into small pieces: roast pumpkin, snow peas, brocolli, asparagus, seared chorizo, mushrooms, chicken or steak  cooked and thinly sliced..  you get the idea.  I cook these ingredients while the risotto is bubbling away.


Heat the pan/pot and olive oil, add the rice.  Stir to coat the rice and watch it carefully – the rice will toast up and turn white(er).  Don’t let it brown, although if you are distracted like me and you get a few light brown bits in the mix don’t worry.

Pour in the COLD (it must be cold) white wine and the pan will steam furiously.  Let it settle and the wine will evaporate almost completely.

Add the chicken stock, all of it at once.  Not the traditional way, but it’s ok.

At this stage I add two twigs (not sprigs) of rosemary and a few twigs of thyme. My twigs are the diameter of the pot in length.  I love herbs.  Also I like to put in a clove of garlic which infuses that sweet garlic flavour through the risotto.  Don’t forget to take it out at the end – unless you REALLY like garlic or need a bit of nature’s medicine for your winter cold.

Give it a good stir from time to time, it will take about 25 minutes for the rice to completely absorb the stock.  During the cooking time enjoy your glass of wine.

Once the chicken stock is completely absorbed, take off the heat.  Taste check the rice to make sure it’s cooked.  At this stage if it’s still a little firm, add a little water or chicken stock and return to the heat until the liquid is absorbed and the rice cooked.  (About one in twenty risottos I make I have to do this, no-one’s perfect).

Add the parmesan, parsely, seasoning and oil/butter and fold into the rice.  At this stage if you have added rosemary and thyme, pull out the (now) bare twigs which will poke out from the rice as you stir.  Add any additional veg and meat and fold in.

Rest for a couple of minutes to allow the cheese to melt and the flavours to mingle.

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