Serves 4
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20-25 minutes


250g runner beans, topped and tailed, side strings removed if necessary and sliced thinly on the diagonal
1 tablespoon olive oil
25g butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
350g arborio rice (or other risotto rice)
1 – 1.2 litres hot chicken or vegetable stock
6 slices Parma ham, cut into ribbons
75g Parmesan cheese, grated, plus extra to serve
Small handful of basil leaves, shredded
Salt and pepper


1. Bring a pan of water to the boil, add the prepared runner beans and cook the beans for about 4 minutes, or until just tender. Drain and set aside while you cook the rice.

2. Heat the olive oil and the butter in a large heavy-based saucepan. Add the onion and gently fry for a few minutes until softened but not coloured.

3. Add the rice to the pan and stir for a couple of minutes. Have the hot stock in a separate pan and keep it at a gentle simmer. Add a couple of ladles of the hot stock to the rice and cook over a gentle heat, stirring frequently, until the stock has been absorbed into the rice. Continue to add the stock to the rice, one ladle at a time, stirring after each addition until it has been absorbed. After 18-20 minutes the risotto should be cooked – it should be creamy and the rice grains tender but retaining a little ‘bite’. You may not need to use all the stock.

4. Add the cooked runner beans, Parma ham, Parmesan and basil to the cooked risotto. Add a little more stock, if necessary, and season to taste.

5. Serve the risotto with shavings of Parmesan and black pepper.

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