Risotto with Peppers / Risotto al Peperone
“Risotto is the staple of northern Italy. This is my adaptation of a traditional risotto from Voghera, a town in south-west Lombardy that is famous for its peppers.” Anna Del Conte
- 2 large peppers, preferably 1 yellow and 1 red
- about 5 tbsp good olive oil for cooking
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 25g unsalted butter
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
- 4 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 4 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
- 1.25 litres vegetable stock
- 300g Italian rice, preferably Arborio, Carnaroli or Vialone Nano
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 12 fresh basil leaves
- Wash and dry the peppers. Cut them into quarters and remove and discard the seeds, cores and white ribs. Cut them into thin strips about 2cm long. Set aside.
- In a heavy-bottomed saucepan heat the butter and 2 tbsp of the oil. Throw in the garlic and half the parsley and, when they begin to sizzle, add the strips of pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Mix in the chopped tomatoes and continue cooking for a further 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan bring the stock to a simmer.
- Add the rice to the pepper and tomato mixture and stir thoroughly. Begin adding the simmering stock slowly, a ladleful at a time, stirring gently in between each ladle until the liquid is absorbed by the rice. The risotto should be kept at a bare simmer throughout the cooking, so don’t let the rice dry out – add more stock as necessary. Continue until the rice is cooked – this should take about 15 to 20 minutes.
- When the rice is nearly done, season with the salt and pepper to taste and stir. Draw the pan off the heat and stir in the remaining 2 tbsp of oil and the rest of the parsley. Transfer to a deep warm serving dish, sprinkle with the basil leaves and drizzle extra virgin olive oil over the top. Serve at once.
Heather and Pete have reviewed this recipe. Here is what they said:
“Hi Uncle John
Thank you for the privilege to cook your Risotto al Peperone tonight. Photos will come in a separate email (or two – as taken from different phones).
The dish turned out brilliantly and we both thoroughly enjoyed it. However, we cooked the dish longer than your recipe called for. In our experience, risotto (Arborio) takes longer than your recommended 15 – 20 minutes cooking : we believe in low and slow. Cooked the dish slowly and it took about 45 minutes for the cooked creamy risotto that we expected from the dish. The basil made it but we felt it needed Pecorino (Parmesan). Haven’t cost the dish as all the ingredients are a staple in our kitchen.
The risotto al peperone really highlighted the sweetness and colours of the peppers. Pete felt that the dish needed some chopped onion to add with the garlic. I didn’t need the addition of the onion, the dish was sweet enough with your ingredients. Overall it was a very enjoyable dish and we look forward to your pesto dish.
Hope you appreciate our comments.
Heather and Pete xx”
Eileen and Malcolm have reviewed this recipe. Here is what they said:
“I made this risotto for the first time tonight and we both thought it was delicious. It will definitely be on our menu again. We served garlic bread as a side. I would do some of the prep beforehand when cooking this dish again.
Thinking I should have perhaps shredded the basil a bit more! The dish was still excellent.
Looking forward to trying another recipe from your site.”