Sometimes cooking from your storecupboards becomes an essential way of getting through a week when time and money are both an issue. I’d not got my act together to do a supermarket shop so I turned to my tins and packets for inspiration.
I googled for the least elaborate baked risotto recipe I could lay my hands on and the first one that appeared was this on the Independent. The only fresh ingredients it required were onions and basil. Sadly I couldn’t even summon up any basil so after much rummaging in the fridge I plucked out a dwindling jar of pesto.
The other great things about this recipe is that it doesn’t need wine and it doesn’t need the high levels of TLC that a regular risotto requires, but you’re still rewarded with a comforting creamy meal that satisfies even the biggest hunger pangs. As it’s bonfire night tonight I reckon it’d be a classic dish to come home to after a spot of firework action out in the cold.
I’ve written out my slightly adapted version here for you. It’s glorious served up in bowls on a chilly night and the very definition of family friendly one pot cooking! My boys vacuumed it up.
Baked cheese and tomato risotto (adapted from The Independent)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tsp sea salt, extra for seasoning
180g arborio rice
375ml vegetable stock
400g tin chopped plum tomatoes
60g Italian hard cheese, finely grated, plus extra to serve
2 tbsp pesto
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/Gas6.
2. Put the oil in an ovenproof dish over a medium heat. Add the onion and sea salt and stir for 5 minutes until the onions soften.
3. Add the rice and stir for further minute. Add the stock and chopped tomatoes and bring to the boil. Sprinkle with the cheese and season with black pepper.
4. Cover the dish and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Stir through the pesto and season to taste.
5. Serve the risotto in bowls with more grated cheese on top
You could use fresh basil instead of pesto
You could stir peas and sweetcorn through at the end to up the veg content