Skill level: Easy peasy
Costs: Cheap as chips
Risotto is an easy, economical meal for family and friends. Enjoy this delicious vegetarian version made with mature Cheddar cheese.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 350g (12oz) carnaroli or arborio risotto rice
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 large leek, thinly sliced
- 1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
- 200ml (1/3 pint) dry white wine (if you don't want to use wine, add another 1/4 pint of stock - see below)
- 2 vegetable stock cubes, dissolved in 900ml (1 1/2 pints) hot water
- 225g (8oz) mushrooms, wiped and sliced
- 75g (3oz) frozen petit pois or garden peas, thawed
- 100g (4oz) vegetarian mature farmhouse Cheddar cheese, finely grated
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Basil or fresh herb sprigs, to garnish
Be sure to grate the Cheddar very finely, so that it melts quickly and easily into the risotto. Serve the risotto with a bowl of finely grated Cheddar - so each person can sprinkle extra on top of their portion.
- Heat the olive oil in a very large frying pan. Add the rice and sauté it gently for about 3 - 4 minutes, until it looks glossy. Add the onion, leek and pepper and cook gently, stirring often, for a few more minutes.
- Add the wine to the frying pan and allow it to bubble up, then cook gently until it has been absorbed, stirring frequently.
- Ladle about one quarter of the stock into the rice, stir, then let the rice simmer gently until the liquid has been absorbed.
- Add the mushrooms to the risotto with another ladleful of stock. Cook gently, adding more stock as needed until the rice is tender, it will take about 20 - 25 minutes to cook in total.
- Stir in the peas and Cheddar cheese, season to taste with salt and pepper, stir well and serve, garnished with basil or fresh herb sprigs.