Then in a separate pan heat the olive oil add the shallot or onion celery and a pinch of salt and sweat the vegetables for about 3 minutes.
Add the garlic and after another 2 minutes when the vegetables have softened add the rice.
Turn up the heat now.
At this crucial point you can`t leave the pan and anyway this is the best bit.
While slowly stirring continuously you are beginning to fry the rice.
You don`t want any colour at any point (so remember you`re in control and if the temperature seems too high turn it down a bit).
You must keep the rice moving.
After 2 or 3 minutes it will begin to look translucent as it absorbs all the flavours of your base (it may crackle at this point that`s fine).
Add the vermouth or wine keeping on stirring as it hits the pan it will smelt fantastic!
It will sizzle around the rice evapourating any harsh alcohol flavours and leaving the rice with a tasty essence.
I must admit I`m a sucker for dry vermouth. When it cooks into the rice it seems to give it a really full but subtle flavour and leaves a wicked sweetness that works perfectly with the rice. White wine is lovely probably more delicate and fresh.
Try both see what you think.
Once the vermouth or wine seems to have cooked into the rice add your first ladle of hot stock and a pinch of salt (add small amounts of salt to taste white you are adding the stock).
Turn down the heat to a highish simmer (the reason we don`t want to boil the hell out of it is because if we do the outside of the rice wilt be cooked and fluffy and the inside will be raw).
Keep adding ladlefuls of stock stirring and allowing each ladleful to be absorbed before adding the next.
This will take about 15 minutes.
Taste the rice is it cooked?
Carry on adding stock until the rice is soft but with a slight bite.
Remove from the heat and add the butter and the Parmesan saving a little of the latter to go on top if you like.
Eat it as soon as possible while it retains its moist texture.
Serve it on its own or with a crisp green salad and a hunk of crusty bread.
If you follow this recipe I promise you`ll be making some of the best risottos out. The real secret of a good risotto I`m afraid is that you have to stand over it and give it your loving and undivided attention for about 17 minutes but it`s worth it. The recipe is in stages; I am going to give you five of my favourite risottos all variants of this basic recipe.
To find a dry white wine, a good rule of thumb is the greater the alcohol %, the drier the wine.