Fennel risotto with ricotta & dried chilli (Risotto ai finocchi con ricotta e peperoncino)

Fennel risotto

Put your fennel seeds into a pestle and mortar and bash up to a powder. Get a wide, hot saucepan, add a couple of splashes of olive oil and fry the garlic until softened, then add the bashed fennel seeds and sliced fennel. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and turn down to a medium-low heat. Place a lid on the pan and cook nice and slowly for around 20 minutes, until the fennel's soft and sweet.



Start the
risotto bianco as usual and continue through the recipe until the rice is half cooked. Half-way through Stage 3, stir in the sautéd fennel, then keep cooking the risotto until the rice is perfectly cooked.



Bash up the dried chillies in the pestle and mortar until you have a fine powder. At Stage 4, when you add the butter and Parmesan, add the crumbled ricotta and lemon zest. Check the seasoning carefully and balance the flavour with as much lemon juice as you feel it needs to work with the fennel. Divide between your plates, sprinkle over your fennel tops and dust with the ground chilli. Grate over some fresh Parmesan at the table.

Nutritional Information

Fennel risotto with ricotta & dried chilli (Risotto ai finocchi con ricotta e peperoncino)

A beautiful veggie dinner

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Fennel is really underrated ? just try it in this delicious risotto and you'll be hooked
Serves 6
45m
Super easy
Method

To me, fennel is a really tasty, classy and under-used vegetable. It works really well with the ricotta in this recipe and has a fantastic sweetness. Please don't buy the crappy ricotta that a lot of the supermarkets have – make sure it's light and crumbly and, if you're out of luck, a fresh goat's cheese is pretty damn good too.

Put your fennel seeds into a pestle and mortar and bash up to a powder. Get a wide, hot saucepan, add a couple of splashes of olive oil and fry the garlic until softened, then add the bashed fennel seeds and sliced fennel. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and turn down to a medium-low heat. Place a lid on the pan and cook nice and slowly for around 20 minutes, until the fennel's soft and sweet.

Start the risotto bianco as usual and continue through the recipe until the rice is half cooked. Half-way through Stage 3, stir in the sautéd fennel, then keep cooking the risotto until the rice is perfectly cooked.

Bash up the dried chillies in the pestle and mortar until you have a fine powder. At Stage 4, when you add the butter and Parmesan, add the crumbled ricotta and lemon zest. Check the seasoning carefully and balance the flavour with as much lemon juice as you feel it needs to work with the fennel. Divide between your plates, sprinkle over your fennel tops and dust with the ground chilli. Grate over some fresh Parmesan at the table.

Whether it's delicious vegetarian or vegan recipes you're after, or ideas for gluten or dairy-free dishes, you'll find plenty here to inspire you. For more info on how we classify our lifestyle recipes please read our special diets fact sheet, or or for more information on how to plan your meals please see our special diets guidance.

Nutritional Information Amount per serving:

Calories

Calories are just a unit of energy. If you eat more than you use you can gain weight, or lose it if you don't eat enough. How much you need depends on your weight, gender and how active you are, but it's around 2,000 a day.

Carbs

Carbs are a great source of energy and, excluding foods such as potatoes, are made from grains - like bread, pasta and cereal. We all need carbs, but try to make them all wholegrain by sticking to brown bread, rice and pasta - they are much more nutritious.

Sugar

We all deserve a treat sometimes, but try to limit your sugar intake. Most of your sugar should come from raw fruit and milk, because they give us lots of nutrients too. Always check food labels so you know how much sugar you're eating.

Fat

We all need to eat a small amount of fat because it protects our organs and helps us grow. But we need to be careful about how much fat we eat and what kinds of fat, because in higher levels it's associated with weight gain, diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

Saturates

Saturated or "bad fats" are in beef, pork, chicken skin, butter, cream and cheese. Too much can be bad for our heart and cholesterol levels, but unsaturated or "good fats" in fish, nuts, avocados and some oils can help keep our hearts healthy if eaten in moderation.

Protein

Protein helps our muscles to grow and repair, as well as providing you with essential amino acids. When it comes to protein, try to eat leaner sources such as chicken and fish or non-meat sources such as eggs, dairy, beans, nuts, seeds, tofu and pulses.
  • Calories 1065
    53%
  • Carbs 151.3g
    58%
  • Sugar 2.6g 3%
  • Fat 33.8g 48%
  • Saturates 15.9g 80%
  • Protein 25.4g 56%
Of an adult's reference intake

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BUYING SUSTAINABLY SOURCED FISH

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Buying sustainably sourced fish means buying fish that has been caught without endangering the levels of fish stocks and with the protection of the environment in mind. Wild fish caught in areas where stocks are plentiful are sustainably sourced, as are farmed fish that are reared on farms proven to cause no harm to surrounding seas and shores.

When buying either wild or farmed fish, ask whether it is sustainably sourced. If you're unable to obtain this information, don't be afraid to shop elsewhere – only by shopping sustainably can we be sure that the fantastic selection of fish we enjoy today will be around for future generations.

For further information about sustainably sourced fish, please refer to the useful links below:

Marine Stewardship Council
http://www.msc.org/

Fish Online
http://www.fishonline.org

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