- Place a large saucepan or casserole dish over a medium heat and add 50g of butter, followed by the shallots and garlic, cover and lower the heat to allow the shallots to soften (but not brown), this will take about two minutes. Next stir in the pancetta and cook for 3 minutes. Then stir in the rice and coat it with the butter and stir for a couple of minutes. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Pour the white wine, stir and allow the alcohol to evaporate, this should take around three minutes.
- Slowly pour in the hot stock, ladle by ladle until all the stock is absorbed stirring all the time. It should take between 15 to 20 minutes for the rice to cook. But taste as you go.
- While the rice is cooking, place a frying pan over a high heat and add the remaining butter and the quartered chestnut mushrooms. Cook for three minutes, tossing as you cook the mushrooms.
- About 5 minutes before the rice is cooked stir in the mushrooms and fresh thyme and about 1 minute before you serve the risotto add in the crème fraiche and parmesan cheese.
by CLODAGH MCKENNA
2 shallots, very finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
300g risotto rice
300g chestnut mushrooms, quartered
100ml dry white wine
700ml hot chicken or vegetable stock
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
2 tbsps crème fraiche
50g fresh parmesan cheese
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper