Porcini and cavolo nero risotto

Ingredients to serve 4

50g dried porcini mushrooms
1.5 litres vegetable stock
2 red onions
2 tablespoons olive oil
A couple of blobs of butter
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
200g cavolo nero
200g risotto rice
100ml white wine
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
150g parmesan, grated, plus more for serving if required

Risottos are wonderful dishes, taking on all the surrounding flavours. Cooking a risotto is definitely something you need to practise, as the more you know your rice the better the flavour and texture will be. A one-pot wonder is always good for large groups, but it can be difficult cooking too much risotto in one pot, so sometimes it's better to have a couple of separate pots cooking.

Put the porcini into a bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave to soak. Bring the stock to a simmer, then keep it warm until you need it.

Peel the red onions and cut into thin slivers. Heat the olive oil and a blob of butter in a pan and sauté the red onions slowly until they soften. Add the garlic. Rip the cavolo nero leaves from the central stalk and slice into thin strips. Discard the stalk. Add the leaves to the onions and sauté until softened.

Drain the porcini and add to the pan. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the rice, stirring until it is hot. Add the wine, then turn the heat up and reduce it by a third. Season with salt and pepper.

Turn the heat down to low and add the hot stock to the rice a ladleful at a time, stirring while each ladleful is absorbed before adding the next. Taste and season. Once the rice is cooked but still has a little bite (after about 20 minutes), add the grated Parmesan and a big blob of butter. Stir – it should be creamy but not claggy, and each piece of rice should have its own identity. Leave the risotto to settle for a few moments. Serve with extra Parmesan, for those who want more.

Taken from You're All Invited by Margot Henderson (Fig Tree, £25).

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