Left-over chilli risotto

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

Serves 4

  • 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
  1. Bring stock to a very gently simmer in a saucepan.
  2. 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.
  3. Add the rice and stir for about 1 min until glossy with a coating of butter.
  4. Increase the heat and add the wine, stirring until the wine has evaporated.
  5. 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.
  6. Meanwhile, place the chilli in another pan over a low-medium heat to warm through (or re-heat in the microwave).
  7. 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.
  8. Serve in warmed bowls with the grated cheese sprinkled over.

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