Little new potatoes with risotto

Serves 6

This is the season to (re)discover potatoes, the time when the "new earlies" come into their own. As they are waxy and firm, their flavour and texture stand up well when added to soups, stews, risottos and pasta dishes.

1 litres/2 pints of chicken or vegetable stock
200g/7oz unsalted butter
1 medium red onion, finely sliced
1 dried red chilli, finely chopped
The heart of one celery, finely sliced
500g/1lb new potatoes, scrubbed clean and sliced into quarters
Sea salt and black pepper
400g/13oz arborio rice
400g/13oz cooked, wilted spinach
Freshly grated Parmesan
1 bunch of basil, leaves torn

Heat the stock in a small pan. In a separate, large, thick-bottomed pan, heat half of the butter until foaming. Add the onion, chilli and celery and cook until soft but not coloured. Add the potatoes and a good pinch of salt and cook for five minutes.

Now add the rice and stir until each grain is coated with butter. Add enough of the stock to cover the rice and allow it to be absorbed.

Add more, ladle by ladle, stirring gently but continuously. Continue until the rice is cooked through but still has an al dente bite. This should take about 20 minutes. Stir in the remaining butter, spinach and Parmesan.

Adjust the seasoning and turn off the heat. Place a lid on the pan and let sit for five minutes before serving. To serve, tear up the basil and sprinkle on top.

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