Food & Drink

Gino D’Acampo’s creamy risotto recipe

With peppers and courgettes, there’s plenty of hidden veg in this deceptively decadent dish.

Creamy risotto from Gino’s Italian Family Adventure
Creamy risotto from Gino’s Italian Family Adventure Creamy risotto from Gino’s Italian Family Adventure

“We have risotto on the family menu at least once a week,” says chef Gino D’Acampo, who has teamed up with Love Food Hate Waste for this year’s Food Waste Action Week.

“I particularly love this quick version, and it gets lots of vegetables into the kids. My daughter Mia is not that keen on peppers, and yet, when they are in a creamy risotto, she never complains.

“This is a meal in itself, but I sometimes also top it with grilled balsamic chicken or some pan-fried garlic and chilli prawns. If, like me, you love adding a little kick to your meals, my tip is to either buy or make some chilli-infused olive oil and drizzle it over the top.”

Risotto cremoso con zucchine, piselli e peperoni

Ingredients:


(Serves 4-6)

8tbsp olive oil


1 large red onion, finely chopped


1tsp roughly chopped thyme leaves


1 large yellow pepper, deseeded and chopped into 1cm cubes


1 large courgette, chopped into 1cm cubes


500g Arborio or Carnaroli rice


150ml dry white wine


1.5L hot vegetable stock, made with stock cubes


200g frozen peas, defrosted


60g salted butter


60g finely grated Parmesan cheese


Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Creamy risotto from Gino’s Italian Family Adventure
Creamy risotto from Gino’s Italian Family Adventure Creamy risotto from Gino’s Italian Family Adventure (Haarala Hamilton/PA)

Method:

1. Pour the oil into a large heavy-based saucepan, place over a medium heat and fry the onion, thyme, pepper and courgette for 10 minutes until soft, stirring with a wooden spoon.

2. Add the rice and fry for three minutes, stirring to allow the hot oil and vegetables to coat the grains. Stir in the wine and cook for a further minute, allowing the alcohol to evaporate.

3. Pour in a couple of ladles of hot stock and bring to a simmer.

4. Reduce the heat and continue to cook and stir until all the stock is absorbed. At this point, please stay with the saucepan, because you need to keep stirring the risotto.

5. Stir in the peas. Pour in the rest of the stock, a little at a time, cooking until each addition is absorbed before you add the next. It will take 18–20 minutes and you may not need to add all the stock.

6. Once the rice is cooked, take the pan off the heat and add the butter, Parmesan, two teaspoons of salt and half a teaspoon of pepper.

7. Stir all together for 20 seconds, allowing the risotto to become creamy and all the ingredients to combine properly.

8. Serve on warmed plates and enjoy.

Gino’s Italian Family Adventure by Gino D’Acampo

Gino’s Italian Family Adventure by Gino D’Acampo is published by Bloomsbury Publishing, priced £22. Photography by Haarala Hamilton. Available now.