Gino's risotto with courgettes, roasted peppers and yellow cherry tomatoes
The one Italian dish that never goes out of fashion, Gino’s in the kitchen giving his classic risotto a seasonal update. It’s the perfect Monday night meal that’s a great hit for your five-a-day, and better still on the table in 20 minutes!
This is a great hit for your 5-a-day and is colourful, light and delicious too. I love roasted peppers in jars – they are a real time-saver rather than having to make your own – so I always have them in the cupboard. They are a great flavour and can be added to so many different recipes or just eaten along with some antipasti.
This is the kind of dish I’d consider turning vegetarian for ….
Per serving: 639 kcal | Fat 28g | Saturates 11g | Carbs 7g | Fibre 4g | Protein 14g | Salt 1.4g
4 tbsp olive oil
1 large red onion, peeled and finely chopped
4 tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
350g Arborio rice
50ml white wine
1.2 litres hot vegetable stock (made with stock cubes)
2 courgettes, trimmed and cut into 1cm cubes
1 x 280g jar roasted peppers in brine, drained and roughly sliced
50g salted butter, at room temperature
10 yellow cherry tomatoes cut in half
50g freshly grated pecorino cheese (swap for vegetarian cheese if you prefer)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pour the oil into a medium heavy-based saucepan, place over a medium heat and fry the onion and parsley for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon
Add the rice and fry for 2 minutes to allow the rice to toast in the hot oil. Stir continuously with a wooden spoon. Pour the wine over the rice and continue to cook for a further minute until the alcohol evaporates.
Pour in a couple of ladles of stock and bring to a simmer. Continue to cook and stir until all the stock is absorbed. At this point, please stay with the saucepan because you need to keep stirring with a wooden spoon.
Add the courgettes and then pour in the rest of the stock, a little at the time, cooking until each addition is absorbed. It will take between 15 and 17 minutes and you may not need to add all the stock. Add the peppers to the risotto 3 minutes before the end of the cooking time.
Once the rice is cooked, take the saucepan off the heat and add the butter with cherry tomatoes and the Pecorino cheese. Stir all together for 30 seconds until the risotto becomes creamy – it should not be too thick, you want it to ooze
Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately
For the perfect risotto, soften the onions but don’t let them brown as this will destroy the flavour of the dish; the same goes with the rice – browning the grains locks in the starch, which you want to release to get the creamy texture