If you’ve got 4 kids at home then you don’t have time to stand over the risotto stirring it. So don’t.
1 onion and 3 – 4 garlic cloves
1 mug arborio rice
1 litre fresh stock (I usually use fresh chicken stock)
Bacon, leftover roast meat, or hot smoked salmon
Peas / spinach / leeks / mushrooms / courgettes (any or all)
(generally I make bacon and pea, or leek, salmon and pea)
Cook the onion and garlic in butter until soft. If adding leeks, courgettes or mushrooms then cook them in with the onions (spinach and peas go in at the end). If using bacon then add it to the pan and cook it through before adding the rice. If using leftover roast meat I tend to add it with the rice, if using hot smoked salmon I put it in at the end with the peas.
Add the mug of arborio rice and then immediately cover with stock and put a lid on the pan. The stock can go in cold straight from the fridge. Once it comes to the boil then turn it down to a simmer and let it cook for about 30 mins until the rice has absorbed all the stock. Add the peas and/or spinach just before you finish cooking as these only take a couple of minutes. Stir through some parmesan and have (lots of) extra for serving.
Fresh chili, roast pumpkin and sage, celery, white wine (in place of some of the stock)
For the kids
The fact that all my four kids like risotto (although they have pretty strong flavour preferences that rarely tie in with each other) leads me to think that risotto must be a kid-friendly meal without much adaption. It is a great way to get fresh chicken stock (magic bone broth) into them. They all have their own strange ways of eating it. Parmesan is loved by 3 out of the 4 but detested as ‘stinky cheese’ by the 4th. Some pick out the peas or the bacon and leave to the end (either because they are the least favourite or the best bit)… it would kind of be a small miracle for 4 kids to sit down and just tuck in without some sort of fannying around though wouldn’t it?
There isn’t necessarily a ‘right’ method…when it comes to food then if is tastes good it works.