TAKES 2 HOURS 30 MINUTES
A risotto is as satisfying to cook as it is to eat. The vibrant green hue from the peas and spinach make for an eye catching plate. Sweetness from the peas match wonderfully with the smoky saltiness from the ham hock. The perfect dish for a humble mid week meal.
1. Begin by placing the halved onions and ham hock in a pressure cooker, along with 500ml water. Cook for 2 hours, until the meat is falling off the bone. Set aside to cool and keep the cooking liquor.
2. Place all of the ingredients for the green sauce in a blender or bowl, along with half a mug of the cooking water from the peas and blend until a vivid green, you want this as smooth as possible. Set aside.
3. Discard the halved onions and add the cooking liquor from the ham hock and the vegetable water from the peas to a saucepan on a low heat to keep warm, this will make a wonderful smoky stock for your risotto.
4. Set a wide pan on a medium heat with the olive oil, add in the onions and gently cook until softened but not coloured, add in the garlic and fry for two more minutes until fragrant. Pour in the risotto rice and stir well, allowing the oil to coat the grains.
5. Add the white wine to de-glaze the pan and then begin to slowly ladle in the stock. Allow the rice to absorb the first amount, once it begins to feel a little dry, pour in the next ladle. Continue doing this until the rice plumps up and has softened but still has a ‘bite’.
6. Pour in the green sauce from earlier and stir into the rice, allowing it to turn the risotto a beautiful, vibrant green.
7. Shred the ham hock and stir through the risotto, keep a little extra to side for a final topping at the end.
8. Grate in a generous amount of parmesan and season with salt and pepper to taste, stir well.
9. Allow the risotto to rest for 5 minutes before serving generously into bowls, place the last shreds of ham hock on top and garnish with a few fronds of peppery watercress. Finish with a final grating of parmesan (optional) and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Enjoy!
For the Green Sauce:
• 200g frozen peas, cooked (retain the cooking water)
• 150g spinach, wilted
• 2 garlic cloves
• Handful of parsley
• Handful of basil
• Handful of coriander
• Zest and juice of 1 lemon
• Parmesan for grating
• 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
For the Risotto:
• 1 smoked ham hock
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 2 onions, halved
• 1 white onion, finely diced
• 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
• 400g risotto rice
• 175ml white wine
• 600ml stock (we used the cooking liquor from the ham hock and the peas but chicken or veg stock would be fine too)
• Salt and pepper to taste
• Parmesan, for grating
• Watercress, for garnish
• Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling