Risotto is one of my top comfort foods and for us is usually made with courgettes (zucchini) or oven-roasted squash/pumpkin (and if you read yesterday’s post you’ll know squash is going to feature regularly on our autumn menus). I have to confess that I’d rather eat a good risotto than a deep fried courgette flower – I am a foodie, but I’m a comfort foodie. The bacon, courgette, garlic and basil flavours in this recipe are fantastic and the rich, creaminess of the risotto makes me salivate every time I cook it. If you would like to give it a go here is the recipe;
Courgette (Zucchini) and Basil Risotto
4 tbsp basil olive oil or a knob of butter
3 courgettes, diced
1 pack of lardons or streaky bacon
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
200g Arborio (risotto) rice
1 small glass of dry white wine
1.5l chicken stock, simmering
1 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Handful of fresh basil
Heat half the oil or butter over a high heat. Add the courgettes and bacon and cook until lightly golden. Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds longer. Transfer to a plate. If using squash, oven roast with the garlic and cook the bacon in a pan then combine.
Heat the remaining buter/oil over a medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook for about 2 mins until softened. Add the rice and stir for 2 mins until it is translucent and well coated with oil.
Pour in white wine; it will bubble and steam rapidly and evaporate. Add a ladleful of stock and cook, stirring occassionally until the stock is absorbed.
Continue adding the stock, about half a ladleful at a time, allowing each to be absorbed before adding the next. This should take about 20-25 mins. The risotto should have a creamy consistency and the rice should be tender, but still firm to the bite.
Stir in the courgette/squash mixture with any juices, the butter, the fresh basil and the Parmesan. Serve and enjoy