It’s not hard to fall in love with a velvety smooth risotto and it’s a lot easier than you might think to perfect. The secret to getting it right is to slow down and give it the love and attention it deserves. The perfect risotto isn’t a quick eat but it is beautifully simple with the fewer ingredients the better.

The recipe I’ve come up with has been tried and tested, it works equally well with pancetta for the meat lovers among us but this veggie variation can more than hold its own against the best of them.

Also I’ve been told that I have to mention that the risotto pictured below was in fact not cooked by me, but by the culinary mastermind that is Alice Brady.



  • A good handful of dried wild mushrooms
  • 1 red onion thinly diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup of Arborio rice
  • 1 good splosh of dry white wine
  • 2 teaspoons of dried herbs (basil & oregano work great)
  • A handful of thinly sliced button mushrooms
  • 1 veggie stock cube
  • A handful of frozen garden peas
  • A wedge of Parmesan



  1. Start off by soaking the dried mushrooms in warm water; this will release all their beautiful flavours (which we will use to flavour the rice).
  2. Next add the onion to a wide flat pan with a glug of cooking oil and heat until softened.
  3. Add the garlic and rice to the pan and give it all a good stir, after a couple of minutes add in a good glug of dry white wine and bring to the boil. It won’t look like there’s enough rice but it will soak up an amazing amount of liquid as it cooks.
  4. Once the wine has started to steam, add in the dried herbs, fresh mushrooms and stock cube and remove the dried mushrooms from the water and add to the pan.
  5. Next comes the slow bit, turn the heat down to a gentle simmer and slowly add in a little of the mushroom water at a time stirring slowly as the rice begins to absorb all of its flavour. This may take a while and if the mushroom water runs out, keep adding tap water until the rice has softened to taste. This bit will make or break the risotto, keep a close eye on the pan and keep slowly stirring to make sure you get the rice to the perfect consistency for your own taste.
  6. Pour the peas over the rice, grate over plenty of Parmesan and give it all another good stir until soft and velvety.
  7. Serve up with a fresh sprig of basil and a few cherry tomatoes. It will taste great with the rest of the bottle of dry white wine too.




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  1. Pingback: Risotto Stuffed Tomatoes & Red Peppers – jj's diner

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