Mushroom risotto (Low fat)

The secret of a successful risotto is to choose the right variety of rice, and then be patient as it slowly absorbs the stock to become creamy and delicious.
Preparation and cooking time: 40 minutes,
Calories per serving: 330


serves 2
15 g (1/2 oz) sun dried tomatoes
2 teaspoons olive oil
100 g (3 1/2 oz) arborio or risotto rice
1 small onion, chopped
1 small garlic clove, crushed
1 celery stick, sliced
1/2 red or yellow pepper, de-seeded and chopped
175 g (6 oz) mixed mushrooms, sliced
50 ml (2 fl oz) dry white wine
1 vegetable stock cube dissolved in 425 ml (15 fl oz) hot water
1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs (basil, oregano, marjoram, chives or parsley)
2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Put the tomatoes in a bowl and pour over enough boiling water to just cover them. Leave them to soak for 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a heavy based frying pan or saucepan. Add the rice and gently saute it, without browning, for about 5 minutes. Add the onion, garlic, celery, pepper and mushrooms. Cook over a very low heat, stirring, for 2-3 more minutes.

3. Pour in the wine, allowing it to bubble up for a few moments, and then add about a quarter of the hot stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. Ladle in more stock as needed and cook until the rice is almost tender.

4. Drain the tomatoes, adding the soaking liquid to the rice. Tear the tomatoes into pieces and add them to the risotto with any remaining stock. Cook gently until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender.

5. Add the herbs and half the Parmesan cheese to the risotto. Season with salt and pepper and serve at once, sprinkled with the remaining cheese.

Top tip Add a little extra stock or water if the rice is not fully cooked after it has absorbed all the liquid.
Variation Leave the pepper out if you're not keen on its flavour, or replace it with a chopped courgette.

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