This rice and vegetable dish is created into a mould shape and makes an impressive as well as tasty main course for a special occasion.
- Low calorie cooking spray
- 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 250g dried risotto rice
- 1tbsp chopped thyme
- 850ml/11/2 pints vegetable stock
- A large pinch of saffron threads
- 110g Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 leek, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 200g baby courgettes, thinly sliced
- A pinch of nutmeg
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Spray a large non-stick saucepan with low calorie cooking spray and cook the onion and garlic for 5–6 minutes over a low heat. Add the rice and thyme and stir until well coated.
Bring the stock and saffron to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Stir in the stock a ladleful at a time, stirring constantly, until it is absorbed. Repeat this step until the rice is cooked. (This will take 25–30 minutes.) Remove from the heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese.
Spray a non-stick frying pan with low calorie cooking spray, add the leek and stir-fry for 4–5 minutes over a high heat. Add the courgette and cook for 5 minutes. Add the nutmeg and season.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Spray a 1.5 litre/ 21/2 pint pudding basin with low calorie cooking spray and line the base with baking parchment.
Put half of the rice mixture into the pudding basin, pressing it down firmly, and then spoon over the leek and courgette mixture. Add the remaining rice, again pressing down firmly.
Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 20–25 minutes. Allow to rest for 10 minutes. Run a palette knife around the edge of the bowl before turning out onto a serving platter. Serve immediately.
Timballo is an Italian dish consisting of baked pasta, rice, or potatoes, usually with one or more other ingredients (cheese, meat, fish, vegetables) included