Rachel Allen – red wine risotto with chorizo and peas


I have found one of the best online sources of recipe inspiration to come from the BBC’s food page (www.bbc.co.uk/food), and would definitely recommend you have a browse round it if you have not seen it before.

One of the best features of the site is the recipe search. Just click “Recipes” on the main option bar and you will see a box called “Quick recipe finder”. Just type a word or two and you will get a list of recipes which you can filter by cuisine, ingredient, chef and many more.

Last night I just searched for “risotto” and came across a Rachel Allen recipe. If you want to see this on the site, the link is: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/redwinerisottowithch_93237

Although the online recipe is for 6 people, I halved the quantities to feed the two of us, and this seemed about right for a main meal. If you were entertaining or serving more than one course the recipe quantities would be about right.

When halved the quantities I used were:

  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil (or a “glug” if you are imprecise like me!)
  • 1/2 oz butter
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 6 oz risotto rice
  • 75ml red wine
  • 500ml chicken stock (the recipe said to use fresh if possible but I just used a stock cube)
  • 1 1/2 oz parmesan, finely grated
  • 3 1/2 oz cooking chorizo, diced
  • 2 1/4 oz fresh peas
  • 1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper to season

Sadly the recipe called for cooking chorizo, but our local shop was out of stock and so I had to use the type sold as packets of thin slices. Although not at all bad, I would recommend using the chorizo sausage if you can get your hands on it.

So, what did I think?

The instructions were very clear and easy to follow as I would expect from this site.  The times for preparation (less than 30 minutes) and cooking (30 minutes to 1 hour) were about right and if anything, slightly on the generous side as it took me about 50-60 minutes from start to finish.

The risotto had a lovely oozy texture thanks to the grated parmesan, and the peas added a nice freshness as they are stirred in right at the end and are barely cooked by the time the risotto is ready to eat.

The only thing I was not a huge fan of was the colour, as the small amount of wine made the rice a slightly grey purple colour, but this was much improved when the chorizo and peas were added and the risotto was served alongside a nice salad (I used rocket, spinach and watercress).

Verdict: Very tasty, and an easy recipe to follow! Quite rich so it needs the salad at the side of it – I would recommend quite a fresh / sharp dressing to cut through the richness of the rice.

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