A surprising amount of what I eat at the moment is veggie. I really do wonder why. I’d set up a permanent hog spit-roast on my terrace if I could. However, this doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate food which just happens not to have meat in.
This one came about because I happened to have some courgettes left over from a veggie lasagna I cooked for my friend Clare. I knew what I wanted to use up, knew that almost anything can go into a risotto, so simply googled courgette risotto. Yes, it’s another example of me going rogue. Although, not too rogue, it was from BBC Good Good after all.
I love the rich creamy texture that comes from the marscapone, and the colour is gorgeous.
Good things: rich colour, sexy and creamy
Bad things: it has no meat, but the courgettes are hearty
Ingredients & requirements:
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- ½ tsp coriander seeds
- 200g arborio rice
- 500ml vegetable stock
- 200g carton passata
- 12 cherry tomatoes
- 2 courgettes
- 2 tbsp mascarpone
- some parmesan
Preparation & cooking
- Oven to 180C fan
- Prepare 500ml of veg stock (I just heat water in a small saucepan and once boiling add a stock cube). Once done measure out in a pyrex, but while that’s heating up…
- Dice 1 onion, set aside in a small bowl
- Crush 2 peeled garlic cloves and ½ teaspoon of coriander seeds (the handle of a heavy knife will do), set aside in a small bowl
- Halve 12 cherry tomatoes. Halve and slice 2 courgettes. Line them up (separately) in a roasting tin.
- If you’re like me, measure out 200g of arborio rice now so you can just pour it in.
- Put 1 tablespoon of oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the 1 diced onion, cook for 5-7 mins until softened.
- Add the 2 crushed garlic cloves and ½ teaspoon of crushed coriander seeds and stir for 1 min.
- Stir in the 200g of arborio rice.
- Gradually add 300ml of the vegetable stock (not all) in stages, and stir each time until absorbed.
- Pour the 200g passata into the risotto, cover and simmer for 10-15 mins. Stir occasionally and add the remaining 200ml of stock in stages throughout the cooking (although check how much is needed as you go).
- Drizzle the cherry tomatoes & courgettes with 1 tablespoon olive oil, season with salt & pepper and roast for 10-12 mins until just tender.
- Add 2 tablespoons of mascarpone and plenty of salt & pepper to the risotto. Stir for 5 mins more.
- Add the roasted courgettes from the oven and stir to combine. Serve topped with the roasted cherry tomatoes and some grated Parmesan. (I eat lots of cheese!)
This is one of those recipes that I now remake on a pretty regular basis. I know it looks like there’s quite a few stages but trust me it’s super easy to make. I know the joint use of the oven and the hob might not seem ideal to some people – well, it put me off for a little bit – but do not let that get in the way of this sexy dish.
It might look a bit ‘half baked’ after you add the passata and cook for a bit, but once you add the marscapone it really turns into the one of the most extraordinarily beautiful and creamy dishes you could ever ask for.