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Recipe: Red Pepper and Saffron Risotto


Try our Head Chef's recipe for Red Pepper and Saffron Risotto, ideal as a vegetarian main course. 


  • 250g Arborio rice
  • 250g grated Parmesan
  • 4 red peppers
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 10g saffron strands
  • 125ml white wine
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 200g cold butter, diced
  • I bunch flat parsley, chopped
  • Olive oil
  • 8 x 9cm cutters
  • Cream horn moulds


Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place the round cutters on a baking sheet lined with silicon paper. Half fill each ring with grated Parmesan and place in the oven until bubbling, then remove the cutters, return to the oven until golden brown, then remove and leave to cool. Just as the cheese starts to set, bend the cheese around a cream horn mould to make a cylinder, then leave to set as it cools.

Cut the peppers in half and remove the pips, wash and drain to ensure that there are no pips sticking to the peppers, and cut into petal shapes. Put a pan on the stove over a low heat, add a little olive oil, and start to gently cook the red peppers, leaving them to simmer for about 5 minutes. When the flesh is just soft but the skin still red they are ready: put them to one side to keep warm. 

Gently heat the vegetable stock. In a thick-based pan sweat off the crushed garlic and finely chopped shallots until they are translucent, then add the thyme and bay leaf. Add the rice and gently start to cook, stirring all the time. When the rice grains are all coated, add the white wine and saffron and allow to reduce. Start to add the vegetable stock, a ladle at a time, stirring until each ladleful of stock has been absorbed and continuing until all the stock is incorporated and the rice almost cooked. Be careful not to overcook the rice: risotto rice should retain its nutty texture. During the final stage of cooking add 50g of grated Parmesan and season with salt and pepper to taste. Finally, slowly add the diced butter, using a fork to incorporate it evenly.

Divide the risotto between serving plates, drain any excess oil from the peppers and place them on top of risotto, finish with a Parmesan crisp, garnish with parsley, and serve. Also ideal as a vegetarian main course.

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