1litre vegetable stockless if using a pressure cooker see notes below
150mldry white wineif desired
handful spinach leavesif desired
50-75ggrated fresh parmesan cheese
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Place the dried mushrooms in a heatproof bowl and cover with 150ml boiling water. Allow to stand for 15 minutes, then remove from the water with a draining spoon and slice.
Strain the soaking liquid through a tea strainer into a saucepan. Add the vegetable stock to the pan. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to keep the stock at simmering point while you cook the risotto
Heat 25g of the butter with the oil in a large pan. Add the onion, and cook gently until it has softened. Stir in garlic and sliced chestnut mushrooms. Cook gently for 5 minutes until the mushrooms have softened.
Add the rice and cook for 2 – 3 minutes until very hot. Add the wine (if using) or your first ladleful of stock and stir until the liquid has evaporated.
Continue to add the stock a ladleful at a time and cook over a medium heat stirring until the stock has evaporated before adding the next ladleful.
Keep cooking and stirring until all the stock has been added and the risotto has a creamy texture but the grains of rice are still firm to the bite in the centre. Add a ladle or two of hot water if necessary once all stock has been added and the rice is still too firm.
Stir in the spinach (if using) into the risotto. Remove from the heat and add the remaining butter and parmesan cheese. Season to taste, then allow to stand for 5 minutes before serving.
To cook in a pressure cooker, follow the steps 1–4 above. Add 600 ml stock, secure the lid and bring to high pressure. Reduce heat to stabilise the pressure cooker and cook for 7 minutes. Release the pressure quickly (see instruction manual). add the spinach and complete as above. Freeze: Left over risotto can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours, or freeze for up to 2 months. Reheat throughly before serving.