Fennel risotto with ricotta

In need of a lovely and healty comfort food, I ran over the pages of my cookbooks and found this nice meal. Even if you're not a fennel-lover, this dish is absolutely try-worthy because the fennel is not overwhelming. At first I show you the basic risotto-recipe, which is kick-ass on it's own.

Basic risotto (serves 2 persons)

approx 1 litre stock (chicken, vegetable...)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 glove of garlic, finely chopped
1.5 stacks celery, finely chopped
200g risotto rice
1 glass of dry white wine
1 hand freshly grated Parmesan
1 knob butter
sea salt and black pepper

1) Heat the stock. In a seperate pot heat the olive oil, add the onions, garlic and celery. Sweat on medium heat for about 15 minutes without colouring.

2) Add the rice and turn up the heat. Keep stirring until the rice looks slightly translucent. Add the wine and keep stirring until the rice absorped the whole liquid.

3) Now add the first ladle of stock and a pinch of salt. The heat should be reduced to a slightly simmer, so the rice can cook evenly. Keep stirring until the stock is absorped. You will notice that the rice becomes more oozy with adding stock. This is caused by the release of the starch which the rice contains. Add another ladle and keep going until the rice is soft but with a slightly bite.

4) Remove from heat and add the butter and the grated parmesan. Stir until combined and set with lid on aside for about 2 minutes. Enjoy!

Fennel risotto with ricotta (serves 2 persons)

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 glove of garlic, finely sliced
1 bulb of fennel, finely sliced, the herbs chopped
1 basic risotto (see above)
1 small dried chilli, finely chopped
3 tablespoon ricotta
1 lemon, zest and juice
sea salt and black pepper
extra parmesan

1) In a heated pan add the olive oil and sweat the garlic until softened, then add the fennel and the fennel seeds. Add a pinch of salt und pepper and cook for about 20 minutes with lid on.

2) Start with the basic risotto until you used the half stock. Stir in the cooked fennel and keep going until the rice is soft.

3) With the parmesan and butter, add the ricotta, the lemon zest and the half of the chopped chilli. Season to taste with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Set aside with lid on for 2 minutes.
Serve with grated parmesan and chopped fennel herbs on top.

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