Use a pan that works on the hob and in the oven. Peel 200g of shallots, leaving them whole, then lightly brown them all over with four peeled cloves of garlic in a little butter. Add 150g arborio rice to the pan, then four whole sprigs of thyme and a litre of chicken or vegetable stock. Bring to the boil, lay six large-ish mushrooms gill-side down in the rice, season generously, then transfer to the oven and bake at 180C/gas mark 6 for about an hour. Serve with grated parmesan. Serves four.
The consistency of the finished dish will depend very much on the whim of the rice and the stock. Check regularly toward the end of cooking. If it looks too thick then add a little more stock and cover with foil. Turn the mushrooms over once during cooking, basting them with the stock as you go.
Add a little chopped pancetta to the shallots once they are browned. Use a little dry marsala in with the stock. Include a couple of dried porcini with the rice for a deeper mushroom flavour.
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Photograph: Jonathan Lovekin for the Observer