Artichoke Risotto

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Slice the artichokes into thin, bite-size slivers.

IN a large, heavy saucepan with a handle (lots of stirring), sauté the shallot or onion, garlic, oregano or parsley in the olive oil over medium heat until translucent - a few minutes on medium heat.

ADD the artichoke and cook for about 10 minutes on low-medium heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon and adding a few tablespoons of water to avoid drying out.

ADD the rice, cook 2 or 3 minutes, till nicely coated with liquid from the pan.

ADD wine and simmer, stirring frequently, till absorbed by rice.

SEASON with salt and pepper to taste.

HEAT the broth/water in a separate saucepan or the microwave (just under a simmer).

START adding the stock 1/2 cup at a time as per instructions for risotto, remembering to stir quite frequently. RICE should cook at a steady slow simmer, bubbling lightly.

TASTE the rice after it has cooked for about 20 to 25 minutes, if you feel it needs more cooking add more liquid and continue to cook to your taste (up to 40 minutes.

THE rice can be slightly al dente, with a very slight bite to it (many Italians prefer it this way), with the grains separate, and the rice creamy. If you prefer a softer, more 'amalgamated' risotto, keep adding broth and cooking until it suits your taste. Remember that it will cook just a bit more as you let it rest after adding the cheese. Bear in mind that different brands and qualities of rice will need more or less liquid.

REMOVE rice from heat, add the cheese, mix well. Cover and let sit for a minute or two.

SERVE onto pre-heated plates passing more cheese at table.

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