This simple risotto is perfect for lunchtime entertaining or a light supper. The saffron gives the dish its wonderful rich golden colour and distinctive flavour, and the peas provide sweetness and contrast in texture and colour.
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
1.3 litres hot vegetable stock
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
400g Arborio or Carnaroli rice
150ml dry rose or white wine
80g salted butter
200g frozen petit pois, defrosted
80g freshly grated Grana Padano cheese
Salt and white pepper
1) Put the saffron in a small bowl with 4 tablespoons of the stock and set aside to infuse. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and fry for 5 minutes or until softened but not browned, stirring occasionally.
2) Add the rice and fry for 3 minutes, stirring constantly, or until the grains are coated and shiny.
3) Pour in the wine and let it bubble for 1 minute or until it has evaporated.
4) Stir in the saffron mixture. Add 2 ladlesful of stock and bring to a simmer. Stir continuously until the liquid has been absorbed. Continue adding the rest of the stock in the same way, until the rice is cooked but still has a slight bite. This will take 16-18 minutes and you may not need to add all the stock.
5) Remove the pan from the heat. Add the butter, peas and Grana Padano and stir for about 30 seconds until creamy. Season with salt and pepper.