This something I do a lot, by taking something utterly Italian and making it our own. We emphasise that in cooking, it's the technique that's important and once you have mastered that, you can swap the ingredients around almost ad infinitum, the only caveat is that it just has to make sense, if it sounds odd it probably is, so think twice!

Ingredients

  • 400g risotto rice
  • 1/2 medium turnip, peeled and cut into dice
  • 1.2 litres chicken stock, cube will do
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 lg onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 can of cider
  • 1 packet, 125g smoked bacon lardons
  • A sprig of sage
  • 150g Coolea cheese, grated
  • Salt and black pepper

Method

  1. Sweat your onion and sage gently in the butter for 15 minutes (keep a lid on the pot for best effect). Remove the lid and add the bacon, cook for another 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile heat the stock. Add the rice and turn in the buttery juices then add the cider and the turnip.
  3. Add half the stock to the pot and bring to a gentle simmer stirring the odd while.
  4. When the stock is nearly absorbed add more stock bit by bit until the rice has just a slight bite, this will take about 20 mins.
  5. Stir in the cheese and a little extra butter if you're feeling naughty, season and serve on warm plates , remember the rice needs to be viscous not stiff, but it will be deeply satisfying and full flavoured.
  6. Serve with a green salad if you like to make it all seem more virtuous.