(Gluten Free, Dairy Free)
A creamy risotto with a hint of red wine, because let’s face it, wine makes everything better!
Today’s recipe is a classic, at least for me. I absolutely love risotto, in any form and flavour. And most of my risottos’ recipes will have some kind of wine as a base, as it just gives it that extra amazing taste. I always have wine laying around the house, I usually buy a cheap bottle at Lidl for about £2.70 and that lasts quite a while, providing you just use it for cooking ;).
Risotto is usually an economic dish to make and you can use pretty much any vegetables you want and customize it however you like it. The perfect risotto calls for Arborio or Carnaroli rice, but I know that if you are on a tight budget, it can be more expensive than other kinds of rice. One bag of Arborio rice is £1.05 for 500g, but if you really can’t stretch money that far, then you can just go for a basic bag of rice that costs about 40p for 1kg (which is literally 5 times cheaper). Yes, the consistency won’t be like using the proper risotto rice, but the flavour is equally as good. For this recipe I have used both and the main difference is in the cooking time and in managing not to overcook the cheap rice. The cheap rice takes a bit longer to cook, about 10 minutes more I would say. Also, you need to try it and see if it’s cooked quite often, if you don’t want to end up with a sloppy mess.
To make this risotto, I first make the “base”, by frying some onions in a bit of oil, then add the rice and toast it for a couple of minutes, then the red wine and finally the vegetable stock and chopped parsley. Now, to cook it properly, you don’t add all the broth at once. Instead, you add enough each time to cover the rice and when most of the broth is absorbed, then you add some more.
And you keep repeating this process until the rice is cooked properly. Please, make sure you don’t overcook it and don’t let it become too soft!
While the rice cooks, I cook the mushrooms in a separate frying pan, using a bit of oil, garlic and a little bit of broth. I let them cook for about 1o minutes and 15 minutes through the cooking of the rice, I add them to the rice. When the rice is cooked, make sure that there is still a bit of broth and that it hasn’t all been absorbed.
You will have to let it rest for 5 minutes and in this time the rice will absorb some more water.
A “real” risotto would use butter instead of oil, but this is a dairy free option and extra virgin olive oil works just as fine. The only thing I recommend, though, if you can eat dairy, is to add a knob of butter to the risotto at the end of the cooking time and let it rest for 5 minutes. This gives it an extra creamy consistency. But if you can’t eat butter or don’t have any around, just leave it out. Do not substitute with butter spreads or margarines as it will alter the flavour.
Now, a note on the mushrooms. I used fresh white closed cup mushrooms, but you can use any kind you like, even frozen sliced mushrooms, which actually work out slightly cheaper than fresh ones.
Finally, serve with a bit of grated hard cheese, such as parmesan or eat it as it is if you want to omit the dairy. Enjoy!
Ingredients (serve 4)
- 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 280g Arborio or Carnaroli rice (or any other cheaper white rice you have)
- 175 ml red wine
- 3 Tbsp freshly chopped parsley
- 1.2-1.3 l vegetable stock
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 300g mushrooms, sliced
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 20g unsalted butter (optional)
- Grated hard cheese, to serve (optional)
- In a large deep non-stick frying pan or saute’ pan, heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil and fry the onions for a couple of minutes, until softened.
- Add the rice and cook for a further 1-2 minutes, stirring well to prevent it from sticking to the pan and burn.
- Add the wine, stir and let it cook for a further 2 minutes.
- Now, add 2 Tbps of chopped parsley and enough broth to just about cover the rice, about 200-300ml.
- Let it cook, until most of the broth is absorbed, then add some more broth and repeat the process, until the rice is cooked through (it will take about 20-25 minutes up to 35 minutes, depending on the kind of rice).
- While the rice cook, heat 1 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil in a separate frying pan. Add the garlic, mushrooms and 1 Tbsp of chopped parsley and cook for about 10 minutes. I recommend adding a bit of the broth to the pan to prevent the mushrooms from burning.
- 15 minutes through the cooking of the rice, add the mushrooms to the pan with the rice and stir.
- Keep adding the broth, until the rice is cooked. Make sure you don’t let it get too soft and make sure that there is still a bit of broth in the pan. If you want, add the butter now and stir.
- Let the risotto rest for 5 minutes before serving. This allows the extra broth to get absorbed and to make the risotto more creamy.
- Serve with some grated cheese or eat it plain and enjoy!