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Gino D'Acampo's delicious creamy vegetable risotto

In a brand new series, Gino’s taking us on an incredible trip to his home on the stunning island of Sardinia. While there, he’ll be showing us just how easy it is to transform simple ingredients into delicious meals - in-keeping with the Italian philosophy of cucina povera, otherwise known as ‘peasant cooking’. To start, Gino will be visiting Italy’s biggest cork factory before making his delicious creamy vegetable risotto. 

Creamy risotto with courgettes, peas and peppers

Serves 4-6


8 tbsp olive oil

1 large red onion, finely chopped

1 tsp roughly chopped thyme leaves

Large yellow pepper, deseeded and chopped into 1cm cubes

Large red pepper, deseeded and chopped into 1cm cubes

1 large courgette, chopped into 1cm cubes

500g arborio or carnaroli rice

150ml dry white wine

1.5 litres hot vegetable stock, made with stock cubes

200g frozen peas, defrosted

60g salted butter

60g finely grated Parmesan cheese

Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Pour the oil into a large heavy-based saucepan, place over a medium heat and fry the onion, thyme, peppers and courgette for 10 minutes until soft, stirring with a wooden spoon.

2. Add the rice and fry for 3 minutes, stirring to allow the hot oil and vegetables to coat the grains. Stir in the wine and cook for a further minute, allowing the alcohol to evaporate.

3. Pour in a couple of ladles of hot stock and bring to a simmer.Reduce the heat and continue to and stir until all the stock is absorbed. At this point, please stay with the saucepan, because you need to keep stirring the risotto.

4. Stir in the peas. Pour in the rest of the stock, a little at a time, cooking until each addition is absorbed before you add the next - it will take 18-20 minutes and you may not need to addall the stock.

5. Once the rice is cooked, take the pan off the heat and add the butter, Parmesan, 2 tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper.

6. Stir all together for 20 seconds, allowing the risotto to become creamy and all the ingredients to combine properly. Serve on warmed plates and enjoy.

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