Recipe & photos from Jodi Mitchell
30 August 2011
One of the things I love the most about risotto is that once you have a good base recipe you’re happy with, it’s amazingly easy to make a number of combinations and different meals to keep it interesting. I’ve separated this recipe into two parts – the first part is the variation part. Feel free to mix it up a bit – I personally find that chicken and bacon work well with risotto from a meat perspective, but equally love vegetarian varieties – pumpkin, mushrooms, courgettes, different varieties of cheese... The second part is the base recipe – it’s a very basic risotto except for the fact I add passatta (pureed tomatoes) – especially during the winter months I like to think the extra vitamin C serves us well!
Rice bran oil
I diced onion
2 tsp Greggs basil & garlic (or use fresh crushed garlic and then add some fresh basil at the end if you have some)
1-2 grated courgettes
200g chopped mushrooms
200g bacon (diced)
Rice bran oil
1 ½ cups aborio rice
1 cup passatta
4 cups chicken stock (or substitute vegetable stock for a vegetarian variety)
The how to
Saute the onion with the basil & garlic until the onion is translucent (I find the best way to do this is to heat oil in the pan on high, add the onion and then turn down onto low and cook with the lid on for a few minutes – you’ll get a good, clear translucent onion that hasn’t ‘fried’ or turned brown at all).
Turn the heat back up, add the bacon, and cook stirring for 2-3 minutes. Add the courgettes & mushrooms and cook for another couple of minutes. Once all cooked, remove from the pan and keep to the side.
For the base risotto, add a little more rice bran oil to the now empty pan (I like rice bran oil because it works well at all temperatures) and the arborio rice – stir until the rice is well coated with the oil. Add the passatta and stir for a couple of minutes. Add the stock, stir well and leave to simmer. This recipe only needs to be stirred occasionally and next to not at all if you are using a quality non stick pan.
Once all of the liquid is absorbed, add back in the variant ingredients you set aside earlier, stir through and let cook for a couple of minutes to ensure it’s all heated through and the flavours have mixed.
If you’re into your cheese, feel free to stir in a bit of grated cheese or parmesan at this point – it will give it a bit of a creamy texture.
Serve and top with a bit of cheese (or extra cheese) as you please.