This recipe was devised by Luke Holder, co-head chef (with Angela Hartnett) at a 5 star hotel in Hampshire. You would therefore expect it to be stunning, and it is. He calls it an ‘umami tsunami’ thanks to the intensity of the tomato, ramped up by the anchovy drizzle with which it is finished. The quality of the anchovies is key, so buy the best you can find, and afford.
I present it here exactly the way he wrote the recipe. It needs no embellishment.
This is high-end cooking, which is well within the reach of the home cook. Try it, you’ll be impressed with yourself!
RECIPE serves 4
For the risotto:
1 very large onion, finely diced
250ml of chicken or light vegetable stock
250g of risotto rice (I use carnaroli)
190ml of white wine (or vermouth)
500ml of passata
125g of butter, cubed
100g of Parmesan, grated
For the drizzle:
12 top quality anchovies, chopped
50ml of Cabernet Sauvignon vinegar
50ml of extra virgin olive oil
2 fat garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
a small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
To make the risotto, add a glug of oil to a large pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook gently until softened but not coloured. Meanwhile, heat the stock in a pan over a low heat.
Add the rice to the onions and stir. Toast until the rice is extremely hot, then deglaze with the wine. Remove from the heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
Marinate the chopped anchovy fillets in the vinegar, garlic, olive oil and chopped parsley. Set aside.
Return the risotto to the heat, add 2 ladles of stock and bring to a simmer while stirring continuously, until the stock has been absorbed. Keep cooking like this, adding one ladle of stock at a time, until it is all soaked up.
Pour in all of the passata and continue cooking, adding a little more water if necessary, until it has been absorbed and the rice is cooked through. Beat in the cubed butter and grated Parmesan and remove from the heat – it should be nice and glossy. Cover with a lid and allow to settle for around for a few minutes. You will notice that no salt has been added; with the Parmesan and anchovies none is required.
Serve the risotto and pour the marinated anchovies all over the top – this will have a large amount of oil over the top but it is key to the finishing off the dish, so do not skimp!