This risotto is carroty. It's cheesy. It has a nice bite to it, which is exactly what you want. And because the backbone to any risotto is a really good broth, I'm going to show you how we make our carrot stock at Dirt Candy.
Risotto: Strain the stock to yield 6 cups (add water to the stock if necessary) and place in stock pot over low heat to simmer. Finely dice the onion half; then peel and mince the garlic. In a skillet, heat olive oil to rippling, add onions and garlic, and cook until onions are translucent, 3-5 minutes. Add the rice and stir to toast. Continue to move it around the pan so it doesn’t stick to the bottom, about 7 minutes.
When the rice has grown translucent from absorbing the oil, add wine and stir until it evaporates; do the same with the lemon juice. Once the pan is fairly dry, slowly ladle the simmering carrot stock into the rice in one-cup increments (rice and stock need to be same temperature). Stir until the liquid has been incorporated before adding the next cup. Don't rush it: you want to let the carrot flavor slowly develop. (This is the trick to cooking risotto: take it slow!)
When you have two cups of stock left in the saucepan, pour the carrot juice into the stock and stir until it’s incorporated. Then, add the next cup of the carrot juice/stock mixture to the rice and incorporate. When you have one cup of the mixture left, stir the diced carrots into the rice before adding the final cup of liquid.
Finish the dish: When the rice looks creamy and there’s no liquid sloshing around, add salt, butter, and half of the Pecorino. (Omit butter and Pecorino for vegan eaters.) Spoon onto a serving plate, sprinkle with the thyme and remaining Pecorino, and serve.
Peel, trim, and roughly chop the onion and carrots, and roughly chop celery; add to stock pot. Smash garlic cloves to remove peel, then add to pot. Add water, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Strain and reserve liquid, discarding solids.