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Fennel Risotto

Serves 4


1 cup of arborio rice
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 small fennel bulb, trimmed, stem removed, and finely chopped, fennel fronds reserved
2 to 4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1 cup white wine
4 cups of seafood stock, you can substitute chicken or vegetable stock
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
extra-virgin olive oil
 1 heaping tablespoon of mascarpone, or 1 tablespoon of butter
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Add 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter and an equal amount of olive oil to a sauce pan over medium heat.  When the butter is melted, add the garlic, fennel, onions and a pinch of salt.  Cook until the onion and fennel are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.  Stir occasionally.  At the same time, bring the seafood stock  to a boil in a saucepan, then lower the heat to a simmer.  Add the rice to the pan with the onions, fennel and garlic and sauté for several minutes, stirring to coat the rice with the butter and oil.  Add the white wine and stir gently until the wine has evaporated.  Then add about 1 cup of stock and stir gently with a wooden spoon, adjusting the heat so the mixture simmers, but does not boil.  When the rice has absorbed most of that stock, continue to add additional stock, one ladle at a time and continue to gently stir the rice until the stock,  (or if you prefer, most of the stock) is absorbed and the rice is al dente, about 20 to 30 minutes.  You may not need all of the stock.  Add the mascarpone and stir until the risotto is nice and creamy.  Taste and season with sea salt and freshly grated black pepper.  Remove from the heat, cover and let rest for several minutes.  Add the fennel fronds just before serving.