Creamy Courgette Risotto

I love risotto and so does HIM, the only negative part of making it is that you need to be in the kitchen the entire time, stirring the pot regularly and adding ladle fulls of stock as you go. Time consuming indeed, but so worth it when you set down to eat a bowl full of this creamy heaven.


I found this recipe in the BBC Good Food Magazine (June 2014 issue) and adapted it by adding crispy bacon pieces (because… who doesn’t love bacon… right???) and wine. While omitting the toasted pine nuts, lemon & mascarpone – but the idea of adding grated courgettes right at the beginning truly does make for a creamy risotto!

would I make it again – yes!

This recipe fed 4 adults … because the courgettes help to bulk it out!

Creamy Courgette Risotto

50g butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 courgettes, (grate 2 of them & dice the third)
210g risotto rice
150ml white wine
1l stock (I use chicken stock)
Parmesan cheese
2 Tablespoons of butter
150g bacon pieces

  • Melt the butter large pot and fry the onion until softened
  • Add the grated courgettes & rice, stirring to coat all the pieces
  • Add the white wine and sizzle for 1-2minutes
  • Add a ladle (or two) of stock and stir
  • Reduce heat to medium and stir regularly, adding a ladle of stock at a time as it gets absorbed during the cooking process (takes approx. 20-25minutes)
  • Remove risotto from heat, add the remaining butter and a handful of parmesan cheese. Cover with a lid and leave for 5minutes.
  • In the meantime, fry the bacon & diced courgette in a frying pan until both are cooked (and bacon is crispy)
  • Serve



Leek, Bacon and Roquefort Risotto

One of the benefits of being on maternity leave is that I am home during the day… and that Little Miss normally sleeps for at least 2 straight hours sometime during this time … which means that HIM and I can either have an early or late lunch together (the timing is dependent on her sleeping schedule… go figure :))

This recipe was from my “must make” pile – Olive magazine (February 2010 issue) – although their version didn’t have the bacon… and I didn’t have any white wine to add to the risotto. Other than that… it is pretty much the same and is really (REALLY) delicious! A definite make again.

risotto 3

Leek, Bacon & Roquefort Risotto

olive oil
25g butter
2 leeks, sliced
125g risotto rice
100g bacon, sliced
900ml stock
100g Roquefort (gorgonzola or blue cheese)

risotto 1


  • Heat the olive oil & half the butter in a pan
  • Fry the bacon & leeks together for 5-10minutes
  • Add the rice and stir to coat in the oil/butter
  • Add a ladleful of stock and simmer, stirring occasionally until the liquid is absorbed
  • continue adding ladleful of stock and repeat until all the stock is used and the rice is tender and creamy
  • Remove from heat and add the cheese and remaining butter

risotto 2

Asparagus Risotto

This dismal winter weather that is setting in, makes me crave comfort food!

And what better comfort food is there…than Italian!!! The cheese & carb combinations of this wonderful country make me smile 🙂 From Pizza to Pasta to Risotto (to name a few) – this cuisine choice has flavour written all over it! Taking simple (but good) ingredients and turning them into a bowl of YUM!

I re-created (& adapted) Francesco Mazzei recipe that was in the Delicious Magazine – by replacing the prosecco with white wine (it was wine from Puglia that we had bought from Olivetus – so I knew it was still QUALITY!). And I used Arborio instead of carnaroli rice.

Arborio:  is the most widely available risotto rice, typically wider & longer, & not as starchy . But the downside is that it absorbs liquid a little less well.

Carnaroli: Variously hailed as the “king” or the “caviar” of all Italian rice. It’s said to produce the creamiest risotto, yet it’s more resistant to overcooking than arborio. Normally available in specialty shops.

Would I make it again? yes…  it is full of flavour – doesn’t require a lot of work & is ready in less than 30min. It does however require your full attention during this time – as stirring and slowly ladling in stock is essential!

Asparagus Risotto

asparagus risotto 3

200g asparagus
350g Arborio Rice
1 tablespoon of olive oil
35g butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
125ml white wine
800ml-1l stock (if you use chicken stock like I did – this is obviously no longer vegetarian)
Fresh nutmeg
30g parmesan – grated
1 tablespoon fresh herbs, chopped

asparagus risotto 1

  • Trim the tips of the asparagus off & place to one side
  • finely slice the stems
  • Heat a large pan with the dry rice – until gently warm, stirring – do not let it brown
  • In a large pot, heat oil & 5g of butter – fry onion for 4-5min until soft
  • Add warm rice – stirring until translucent
  • Add white wine & boil to evaporate alcohol
  • Add stock – one ladle at a time – stirring continuously.
  • Only adding the next ladle of stock when the previous one has been absorbed
  • after 10min – add asparagus stems
  • In another pan, heat 5g butter & little olive oil & fry asparagus tips with a grating of nutmeg until tender
  • When rice is done, switch off the pot, place a lid on top & leave to rest for 5-10minutes
  • Add rest of the butter, parmesan & herbs & give one more stir
  • Serve topped with the asparagus and little bit more parmesan (because no one said no to a bit more cheese – right?)

asparagus risotto 2

Printer version

Baked Asparagus risotto

Made this as a side dish for the *Post Christmas* Friends lunch – especially since I adore risotto (and so does HIM)… and I loved the idea of the convenience of being able to bake it.. . Plus, instead of hours of standing of stirring away (while my guests were enjoying their drinkies) – It was as quick as one, two, three to get it ready and into the oven… and just as delicious as a stove-top risotto… plus the asparagus still had their crunch and the tomatoes weren’t mush…

this is a recipe that I will definitely make again!

Baked Asparagus Risotto

before popping into the oven

before popping into the oven

2 teaspoons of olive oil

1 small onion (chopped)

300g risotto rice

400ml can asparagus soup

850ml vegetable stock

300g asparagus (ends trimmed)

10 cherry tomatoes, halved

25g Parmesan (grated)

  1. heat oil in ovenproof casserole dish
  2. Add onion and cook for 5minutes until softened
  3. add the rice and cook for 1minute, stirring to coat in the oil
  4. Tip in the soup and stock, season and stir well to combine, then bring to the boil
  5. asparagus baked risotto
  6. cover and place in oven at 200C for 15minutes
  7. Remove dish from oven, give rice a good stir adding chopped parsley
  8. Place the Asparagus and tomatoes on top of rice
  9. before popping into the oven

    before popping into the oven

  10. Return to oven, uncovered for a further 15min
  11. Scatter with cheese to serve

you eat no meat? it’s ok – I make Pea and mint Risotto

I am forever on the lookout for some vegetarian recipes… I think that I only have THREE tried and tested vegetarian main meals written in my recipe book…  This, a pumpkin lasagna and . This of course does not include all the veggie sides, salads and soups I have tried and blogged about…

I remember (back in the day), when you invited someone around for dinner – a typical South African household would be cooking up some form of meat or chicken – and absolute pandemonium would erupt when an announcement was made that one of the guests was Vegetarian – you can’t just give them a plate of cauliflower & cheese or a side plate of green salad (can we????).

And the current trend of *health freaks* (no offense intended… well not really) means that people are now meat-free, gluten-free, alcohol-free, hold the butter, no cream and worst of all… those that get up at 5am EVERYDAY to run 6million kilometres…. *sigh* (just ignore my little rant – I am actually just jealous!)

I originally found this recipe in the *Weight Watchers: Cook Smart simply suppers* (Easy, Healthy recipes for fabulous evening meals – pg 128) and have cooked it on numerous occasions for Veggies and Meat eaters alike… and although there is a bit of effort required in the *one ladle* at a time and constant stirring… it does make a nice din-din’s… but not something that can be kept for leftovers (it seems to turn into a bit of glutenous starchy porridge when it gets cold)… SO EAT UP!

Risotto is essentially Italian in origin, and emphasises rice dishes that are cooked in a broth until creamy in consistency! Most risotto dishes contain butter, onion and parmesan cheese (and of course the specific risotto rice – my personal favourite is the Arborio rice).

PEA and MINT Risotto

850ml vegetable stock

250g pea’s

4 Tablespoons fresh mint

1 large onion

1 leek

2 garlic cloves

240g Risotto Rice

150ml dry white wine

15g parmesan cheese

  1. heat stock & half the pea’s
  2. scoop the pea’s out with a slotted spoon & transfer to food processor; processed until puree and set aside.
  3. Fry onion & leek for 2min, adding half a ladle of stock
  4. Add garlic and fry for a further minute
  5. Add rice and stir until coated (this is called *tostatura*)
  6. stir in the wine to coat all those gorgeous little granules of risotto rice 🙂

  7. pour in wine and bring to the boil
  8. reduce heat and simmer until wine is absorbed and alcohol smell disappears
  9. Add 1 ladle of stock at at time, simmer and stirring constantly.
  10. Stir in pea’s & pea puree & heat through.
  11. Serve with mint
  12. served with mint and a few wedges of lemon... YUM

4.5pt per portions for  Weight Watchers… and this makes 4 portions