Pea and Pancetta Risotto

Pea and Pancetta Risotto

A great summer recipe – fresh spring pea risotto with the rich smokiness of pancetta and a little basil to finish.

Pea and Pancetta Risotto

Serves 4

Ingredients:

300g Carnaroli Rice, 25ml Olive Oil, 300g Pancetta (Thinly Sliced and Diced), 3 Celery Stalks (Finely Diced), 2 Long Shallots (Finely Diced), 2 Garlic Cloves (Very Finely Sliced), 175ml Rosé Wine, 2 Litres Vegetable Stock, 200g Freshly Shelled Peas, 50g Parmesan (Finely Grated), 25g Unsalted Butter, 12 Basil Leaves (Finely Chopped), 8 Thin Pancetta Slices, Cracked Black Pepper

Method:

1) Bring the vegetable stock to a simmer in a large saucepan. Place a heavy based casserole pan over a medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the pancetta to the pan and fry for around 8 minutes or until crisp. Add the celery, onion and garlic to the pan and sauté for 5 minutes until soft – stirring continuously. Meanwhile, crisp the pancetta slices under a hot grill and set aside.

2) Add the rice to the pan and coat well with the olive oil. Turn the heat up high and add the wine, simmering until almost entirely absorbed by the rice. Reduce the heat to low and add the stock, little by little (allowing the stock to be almost entirely absorbed by the rice before adding more) whist stirring until the rice is tender but has a little bite – this should take around 20-25 minutes. The risotto may not require all of the stock.

3) Remove the pan from the heat and add the peas, parmesan, butter and basil. Fold to combine, cover the pan with a heavy lid and allow to rest for 6 minutes. Once rested, beat the risotto a few times and season to taste with cracked black pepper.

4) Serve the risotto with a good crack of black pepper, a sprinkling of parmesan and the crisp pancetta slices.

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Risotto Primavera, Goats Cheese

Risotto Primavera, Goats Cheese

A take on the classic risotto Primavera served with deliciously addictive goats cheese bonbons!

This risotto Primavera is very light yet maintains impressive depth of flavour with a big hit of fresh lemon.

Risotto Primavera, Goats Cheese Bonbons
Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the Risotto: 4tbsp Unsalted Butter, 2 Shallots (Chopped), 5 Leeks (Finely Chopped), 1 Celery Stick (Finely Chopped), 125ml Dry White Wine, 350g Risotto Rice, 2l Vegetable Stock, 100g Frozen Peas, 2 Large Handfuls Spinach, Zest and Juice 1 Lemon, 100g Parmesan (Grated), Large Handful Parsley (Chopped), Sea Salt, Cracked Black Pepper

For the Bonbons: 100g Soft Goats Cheese, 75g Hard Mozzarella (Grated), 25g Parmesan (Grated), 1tsp Grated Nutmeg, Breadcrumbs (Gluten Free if required), 1 Egg (Beaten), Vegetable Oil

Method:

1) Prepare the bonbons by combining all of the ingredients (except the breadcrumbs) in a small bowl and mixing well. Form into small balls and store in the fridge until ready to fry.

2) To make the risotto, place a large casserole dish over a medium heat and melt 2tbsp of the butter. Sweat the shallot, leek and celery for 5 minutes. Add the wine and allow to reduce by half. Add the rice and cook for 2 minutes coating well with the butter. Place the stock in a saucepan and bring to a simmer.

3) Gradually add the stock to the rice, allowing to absorb before adding the next amount, whilst stirring continuously. Continue until the rice is tender (around 25 minutes) – you may need more stock. Once the rice is cooked, add the remaining butter, parmesan, lemon juice and zest, parsley, spinach and peas and season well with sea salt and cracked black pepper. Cover and allow to stand for 5-10 minutes.

4) Meanwhile, heat a deep-fryer or pan of oil to 190c. Roll the cheese bonbons in the egg and then coat in the breadcrumbs. Deep fry for 20 seconds until just browned before removing and draining.

5) Uncover the risotto and beat well with a large wooden spoon. Serve with the cheese bonbons and a good crack of black pepper.

Enjoy!

Parsnip Risotto

Parsnip Risotto

This recipe was scribbled down and adapted from another blog some time ago and never fails to impress.

Sweet and earthy parsnip is hit with a big kick of sage and parmesan.

Topping with a little mascarpone, fried croutons and fresh sage balances a delicious dish.

Parsnip Risotto
Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the Risotto: 300g Carnaroli Rice, 30g Unsalted Butter, 1 Onion (Finely Chopped), 1 Garlic Clove (Crushed), 1 Celery Stick (Finely Chopped), 3 Medium Parsnips (Peeled and Grated), 200ml Dry White Wine, Small Handful Sage Leaves (Finely Chopped), Small Handful Parsley (Chopped), 1 litre Light Vegetable Stock, 50g Grated Parmesan, 3tbsp Mascarpone, Freshly Cracked Black Pepper

To Finish: Croutons, Mascarpone, Fresh Sage Leaves

Method:

1) Heat the butter in a large casserole over a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, celery and parsnip and sauté for 5 minutes until soft but not coloured. Add the risotto rice and combine with the other ingredients.

2) Turn up the heat and add the wine. Allow to reduce by half. Add the sage and fold to combine. Turn the heat down and gradually add the vegetable stock, allowing the rice to absorb in between, whilst stirring. Continue until the rice has cooked (just a little bite remaining) – around 20-30 minutes.

3) Once the rice is ready add the parsley, mascarpone, parmesan and a good amount of cracked black pepper. Cover and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Stir well to combine.

4) Serve with freshly fried croutons, mascarpone and fresh sage leaves.

Enjoy!

Pea Risotto

Pea Risotto

Risotto is the ultimate in impressive comfort food and this pea risotto is no exception! Using pea purée as the base makes for a richly flavour and luxurious risotto.

Great topped with crispy smoked bacon, this would make a cracking dinner party starter or main.

Pea Risotto
Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the Purée: 150g Frozen Peas, 1tbsp Unsalted Butter, Reserved Cooking Water, Sea Salt, Cracked Black Pepper

For the Risotto: 250g Risotto Rice, 1 Onion (Finely Chopped), 1 Garlic Clove (Crushed), 1 Celery Stick (Finely Chopped), 450ml Vegetable Stock, 100ml White Wine, 1tbsp Unsalted Butter, 4tbsp Grated Parmesan Cheese, 75g Frozen Peas, Sea Salt, Cracked Black Pepper, Crispy Smoked Bacon (Optional)

Method:

1) Make the purée by blanching the peas in a pan of boiling water for 2 minutes or until tender. Drain (reserving the cooking water) and transfer to a blender. Add the butter and blend, slowly add the cooking water until a pouring consistency is achieved. Season to taste and set aside.

2) Place a deep pan or casserole over a medium heat. Add a little olive oil and fry the onion, garlic and celery for 10 minutes until soft. Add the rice and coat well in the oil. Add the white wine and allow to reduce by half (ensuring the alcohol has burnt off).

3) Add the pea purée a little at a time, stirring continuously until some of the liquid has been absorbed (it will not dry out completely). Once the pea purée has been exhausted, gradually add the vegetable stock, stirring continuously, allowing the stock to be absorbed before each addition. Continue this until the rice is tender (around 25 minutes). Once the rice is tender, remove from the heat and add the butter, peas and parmesan. Cover and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Stir well to combine and season to taste before serving.

Enjoy!

Summer Vegetable Risotto

Stock-based risottos are delicious but they do tend to be a little on the heavy side for this time of year – especially when I get a little over-eager with the parmesan!

In one of his recent TV series, Raymond Blanc explored the virtues of using a tomato essence to form the basis of a risotto. Tomato essence takes time and patience to get just right, two things which I don’t really have much of! But using this technique produces a very light and pure risotto which is perfect for showing off the qualities of fresh summer vegetables.

As opposed to making a pure tomato essence, which needs to be left hanging for ages in the fridge, taking up vital space, I have developed this recipe using a quicker method. Although not quite as pure, it still achieves the same result and depth of flavour.

Perfect for mid-week suppers, you can also make the essence a few days in advance and keep it covered in the fridge. Using carnaroli rice gives a much more velvety and luxurious texture than Arborio and is my first choice every time.

Summer Vegetable Risotto

Serves 4

Ingredients:

For Tomato Essence: 1kg Cherry Tomatoes, 1 Celery Stick, 1 Chopped Shallot, Handful of Basil Leaves, 1/2 Garlic Clove, Salt

For the Risotto Base: 350g Carnaroli Rice, 1 Onion Finely Chopped, 1 Garlic Clove Finely Chopped, 600ml Very Weak Vegetable Stock, Reserved Tomato Essence, White Pepper, Salt

To Finish: 30g Grated Parmesan, 1tbsp Unsalted Butter, 2tbsp Mascarpone, 75g Fresh Peas, 75g Broad Beans, 1 Carrot Finely Diced, 1 Courgette Finely Diced

Method:

To Make the Essence:

1) Blitz all the ingredients in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Season lightly with salt. Leave to settle in the fridge for 2 hours.

2) Press through a sieve to extract the juice. You should get around 600ml of Juice.

For the Risotto Base:

1) Sweat the onion and garlic in a little oil for 5 minutes. Add the carnaroli rice and fry until translucent (around 5 minutes).

2) Season the risotto with approximately 2tsp ground white pepper (or to taste) and a little salt.

3) Add the vegetable stock and cook on a low heat until the rice has soaked up the stock. Stir occasionally during this stage.

4) Once all the stock has been soaked up add the tomato essence. Continue to stir occasionally.

5) When the risotto is around 5 minutes from being ‘done’ continue to the finishing stage – there should still be a little essence left, if not add a little water.

To Finish:

1) Stir in the vegetables and allow to cook until al dente (approximately 5 minutes). Stir frequently during this stage.

2) Quickly fold in the butter, parmesan and mascarpone. Once the butter has melted and is combined, serve immediately.

This recipe works equally as well with any other summer vegetables – especially fennel. Enjoy!