I have to say I’ve struggled with risotto over the years. It is all too easy to end up with a stodgy, mass of rice, but I think I have finally nailed it. Everyone says the secret is in the stirring, but I think the skill is in knowing when to stop cooking. The end result should be nice and soupy, and the rice only just cooked.


  • a knob of unsalted butter and a little olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 300g arborio risotto rice
  • 250ml white wine
  • 700ml vegetable stock
  • a bunch of asparagus, chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • lemon zest and a squeeze of lemon juice
  • about 75g parmesan cheese (or vegetarian alternative)

Melt the butter and olive oil in a deep, non-stick frying pan. Add the onion and cook until soft, but not brown.

Add the rice and stir it into the buttery onion mix until the edges of the rice grains turn translucent.

Pour in the wine, and stir until it has been absorbed by the rice.

Add the stock, a ladle at a time, stirring continuously.

When the stock has all been added, and the rice just about cooked, add the asparagus. Cook for a further 2-3 minutes.

Add a squeeze of lemon, grate in the parmesan and lemon zest.

Eat straight away.