Risotto is one of those dishes you need a good arm for. You can oven bake a risotto and you can literally chuck everything in a pan and let it do its thing, but a proper risotto is best done by slowly adding stock and wine (recipe dependant) and constantly stirring to get a creamy dish at the end of it without the need to add cream or cheese, however adding cheese and cream is totally up to the individual to do, some Parmesan stirred through at the end can really change the dish.
Some recommended items from our kitchen to make this dish…
- Double sided dry and liquid measuring spoons for times when you need to measure both liquid and dry ingredients.
- A decent set of knives for chopping, with a knife sharpener which is always handy.
- A big time saver for chopping veg with a veg chopper, from onions to carrots this is a god send to chop quickly.
- I love our ladle, it has a mini strainer on one side.
- Garlic crusher, we have had this one for a good while, easy to clean and can crush multiple cloves at once saving time.
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- 250g arborio risotto rice
- 1 medium courgette, sliced and then each slice in quarters
- 1 red bell pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped
- 300g cherry tomatoes
- 1 large red onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 300g passata
- 1 tablespoon tomato puree
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 1 white wine stock pot
- 2 teaspoons Italian herbs
- Handful of fresh basil, roughly chopped
- Preheat the oven to 200°C fan.
- In a roasting tin add the cherry tomatoes, bell pepper, courgette and 1 teaspoon of the Italian herbs, season with salt and pepper and spray either a little frylight or a few squirts of oil (oil works much better but use frylight if you prefer). Roast for 20 – 25 minutes.
- Meanwhile make up the stock using the vegetable stock cube and wine stock pot with 1 litre boiling water and bring the stock to a boil with the other teaspoon of Italian rub and then simmer on a low heat to keep hot.
- In a heavy bottomed pan fry the onion and garlic with a tablespoon of stock on a medium heat until starting to soften, add a little more stock if the onions are starting to catch.
- Reduce the heat and stir in the rice, tomato puree and a ladle of stock. Bring to a simmer and keep stirring until the stock is absorbed, add half the passata and another ladle of stock and keep stirring until absorbed again, add another ladle of stock and stir again, repeat this process until you have used all the passata and stock.
- At this point taste the rice to check it is cooked, add a little extra water if it needs a little longer.
- Once the rice is cooked stir through the roasted vegetables and fresh basil, taste again and check if any salt and pepper is needed.
- Serve alongside a salad and some freshly shaved Parmesan if you wish and a slice of garlic bread.