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“A subtle and delicious recipe - the fennel seeds and herbs really integrate the taste of the roasted fennel into the whole dish. During preparation, some chefs exhort you to stir the risotto constantly; I find risotto quite forgiving provided it doesn't stick to the pan, so I would prefer to use the phrase 'stir regularly'. At the end of cooking, the risotto should still be pourable, but should not have a large 'head' of unabsorbed fluid when left to settle.”

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Sweat the onion in the oil till softening then add the garlic, fennel seeds and herbs and sweat for a further two minutes.
  3. Add the rice (and saffron, if using), stirring to coat with oil, then the wine or vermouth.
  4. Stir till almost absorbed, then begin adding stock, about a ladle (¼ pint) at a time, stirring regularly till almost absorbed.
  5. Meanwhile, toss the fennel in the olive oil and a little seasoning and place in a roasting tin in the oven for 15 - 20 minutes until just cooked.
  6. Continue adding all the stock to the rice as described until used up and the rice feels cooked.
  7. Season to taste, perhaps erring on the side of caution.
  8. At this point, add the roasted fennel, along with the margarine and Parmazano and stir through till melted and incorporated.
  9. Check seasoning again - it'll probably be OK now - and serve on warm plates, passing pepper and more Parmazano.

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