Cheesy, Salty, Snappy Risotto

What you need:

  • 4 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 8 ounces sugar snap peas, trimmed and cut in half
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 medium leeks, cleaned, halved lengthwise and sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup cooked ham, diced
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

How to do it:

Prep steps:

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring chicken stock to a simmer (do not boil). Keep warm.
  2. In a small saucepan, cook sugar snap peas in boiling water for approximately 2 minutes, or until crisp tender. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.

And for the risotto itself:

  1. In a large skillet or saucepan (a pan with a large surface area works best), heat olive oil. Add leeks and cook for 5 minutes.
  2. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add rice and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add wine and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until liquid is nearly completely absorbed.
  5. Add warmed chicken stock – one or two ladles full at a time – to risotto, being sure to stir constantly after each addition. Be sure stock is nearly completely absorbed into the rice before adding more stock. This entire process should take approximately 25 minutes. Adding the stock any more frequently than this will result in undercooked risotto – you don’t want that. Note: As the risotto cooks, you’ll notice it becomes creamier and begins to pull away from the pan when you stir it. Keep an eye out for these things and you’ll know you’re on the right track.
  6. Once all broth has been added and absorbed, add ham and stir until warmed through.
  7. To finish the risotto, stir in the sugar snap peas, Parmesan cheese and butter. Add pepper and salt to taste (watch the salt here – the Parmesan and ham are already quite salty). Top with extra Parmesan before serving.


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