This dish is cheap, easy and uses mainly store-cupboard staples. The strong sweet flavour of the roast carrots is enhanced by the thyme.
- 600g (1lb 6oz) carrots, peeled and cut into even sized dice (approx 1cm)
- 2tbsp olive oil
- 25g (1oz) butter
- 1 large onion, peeled and finely diced
- 300g (11oz) risotto rice
- 1tsp dried thyme
- 200ml (7floz) dry white wine
- 1 litre hot vegetable stock
- 2tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F, gas mark 7).
Place the carrots in a large roasting tin and drizzle with 1tbsp olive oil and season. Toss well and place in the oven for 15-20 mins uncovered, until the carrots are soft and lightly golden, turning halfway through cooking,
Meanwhile heat 1tbsp olive oil and the butter in a large pan. Add the onion and fry for 3-4 mins, until softened. Stir in the risotto rice and stir to coat well. Add the dried thyme and the wine and bring to the boil. Add the hot vegetable stock a quarter at a time, adding each quarter after the previous stock has been absorbed by the rice. This should take approx 25 mins, by which time the rice should be al dente.
Remove the carrots from the oven and stir into the rice. Season well and serve immediately with the Parmesan cheese. Garnish with flat leaf parsley.
For a stylish finishing touch, grill 100g smoked streaky bacon rashers until crisp and place the rashers on top of each serving. To give this risotto a real zing, try adding 50g grated fresh ginger when frying the onion.