Play around with the recipe using flavoured cream cheese and adding your favourite vegetables.
The risotto makes a great starter on its own, or you may top with some fried chicken, bacon, fish or shellfish to make it a main
Begin by finely chopping shallots, garlic, fennel and thyme. Warm up 2 tbsp olive oil in a big, thick-bottomed saucepan. Fry the onion mix until soft and transparent, then add the herbs.
Add the risotto rice and stir to cover the rice in oil. Add white wine or white wine vinegar, bring to a boil and let the rice absorb the liquid. Keep the stove on mediium to low heat when preparing risotto.
In another saucepan, heat the stock. Pour the hot liquid into the risotto little by little and stir as the liquid gets absorbed. Continue this process until all stock has been added and the risotto has the desired texture. The whole process should take approx. 20-30 minutes.
In the end you may want to add a bit more liquid to obtain the desired texture. Now mix in grated parmesan, cream cheese and a dollop of butter. Season with salt and pepper.
Mix in frozen peas and mini asparagus and let the risotto rest with a lid on for 10 minutes. Top the risotto with fresh herbs.