My first mouthful was a definite ‘yes’ moment. Left-over chilli, stirred into a risotto, creamy, tomatoey, spicy, a little meaty-beany, with a grating of cheddar melting over the top, this was near enough as comforting and happiness-inducing as food gets. Almost as good was the sense of satisfaction I felt on having managed to transform leftovers into something special. Yes, all that risotto stirring can seem a touch tedious, a lot of work to put into left-overs. Why not just have chilli and rice? Trust me, this is not at all comparable. The chilli ensures you do not end up with a disappointingly bland risotto, and the creaminess of the dish makes it soothing, comforting and totally worth all the stirring.
Leftover chilli risotto
- 1.5 litres veg or chicken stock
- 40g butter
- 1tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 300g risotto rice
- small glass white wine
- leftover chilli (around 2-3 cupfuls)
- Grated cheddar to serve
- Bring stock to a very gently simmer in a saucepan.
- In another large saucepan, heat the butter and oil over a gentle heat until the butter has melted. Add in the onion and garlic and cook gently for about 10 mins until softened but not coloured.
- Add the rice and stir for about 1 min until glossy with a coating of butter.
- Increase the heat and add the wine, stirring until the wine has evaporated.
- Reduce the heat and add a ladelful of the hot stock. Stir until the stock is absorbed, then add another ladelful. Keep repeating, stirring constantly and only adding more stock once the previous ladelful is absorbed.
- Meanwhile, place the chilli in another pan over a low-medium heat to warm through (or re-heat in the microwave).
- Once the stock has been used up and the rice is just tender (add more stock if necessary) stir the warmed chilli into the risotto.
- Serve in warmed bowls with the grated cheese sprinkled over.