Risotto with mascarpone, lemon and prosciutto

Serves 4-6

This risotto is very creamy and rich with just a hint of sharpness. The prosciutto adds a pleasant, delicate sweetness. It is important that the ham does not cook in any way, so leave it until the very last minute before placing it on top of the rice.

11/2 litres/21/2 pints vegetable or chicken stock
100g/31/2oz unsalted butter
1 small yellow onion, peeled, finely chopped
600g/21oz arborio rice
300ml/10fl oz dry white wine
1 unwaxed lemon, juice and zest
2 tbsp mascarpone
50g/2oz unsalted butter
100g/31/2oz Parmesan, grated
One slice of prosciutto per plate

Bring the stock to a simmer in a medium-sized pan. In a separate, low-sided pan, melt the butter over a fairly low heat.

Once the butter has melted, add onion and cook till soft, then add the rice and stir well so it is coated with the butter. Turn up the heat slightly, add the wine and let it evaporate almost completely. Add a ladle of stock, stirring gently.

Once one ladle has been absorbed, add further ladles, ensuring all the time that the rice is just covered by the liquid. Cook for 18-20 minutes, then remove from the heat and taste. It should be soft but not mushy, with a gentle bite.

Add the lemon juice and zest, mascarpone, butter and Parmesan. Add salt and pepper to season and place a lid on the pan.

Allow to sit for two minutes, then lay over the prosciutto just before serving.