Bacon and Courgette Risotto

Here’s a filling, one-pot meal that’s based on a traditional Italian recipe. For perfect tender rice cooked to a creamy consistency, you need to be patient and stir in the hot stock slowly. If you don’t rush this part, you won’t be disappointed.

Serves: 6; Cost: £3; Time to prepare: 15 mins; Time to cook: 25 mins; Cals per portion: 510

Ingredients: 1 large onion; 2 garlic cloves; 3 bacon chops; 85g (3oz) butter; 500g (1 lb 2oz) risotto rice; 1.7 litres (3pt) hot chicken or vegetable stock; 115g (4oz) mushrooms; 2 large courgettes, grated; 60ml (4 tbsp) fresh chopped chives; 45ml (3 tbsp) fresh chopped parsley; 75g (2 3/4oz) Parmesan cheese, grated; Extra Parmesan for shavings

  • Peel and chop onion, peel and crush garlic. Trim fat from the bacon chops and discard. Cut bacon into cubes. Heat half the butter in a large pan. Add onion, garlic and bacon and gently fry for 5 mins.
  • Tip in the rice and cook for a couple of mins, stirring so rice grains are coated. Add 300ml (½ pt) hot stock and the mushrooms. Stir frequently, to keep rice grains separate, until the liquid is absorbed.
  • Add a large ladleful of stock, then continue adding small amounts of stock, stirring and waiting until all the liquid has been absorbed before adding more. Repeat until all liquid is finished and the rice tender.
  • Turn off heat when risotto is creamy. Stir in courgettes, chives, parsley, remaining butter and grated Parmesan. Make parmesan shavings using a vegetable peeler. Sprinkle over and serve.
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