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Roasted Carrot Risotto

How about this for something a bit different? This economical dish is easy to prepare and you may not even have to go shopping for the ingredients needed. Roasting the diced carrots produces a stronger, sweeter flavour which is enhanced by the addition of dried thyme. For a stylish finishing touch, grill 100g smoked streaky bacon rashers until crisp and place the rashers attractively on top of each serving of risotto. To give this risotto a real zing, try adding 50g grated fresh ginger when frying the onion.

Ingredients

600g carrots, peeled and cut into even sized dice (approx 1cm)
2 tbsp olive oil
25g butter
1 large onion, peeled and finely diced (220g)
300g risotto rice
1 tsp dried thyme
200ml dry white wine
1 litre hot vegetable stock
Salt and freshly ground pepper

To serve
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 220oC, gas mark 8.

Place the carrots in a large roasting tin and drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil and season. Toss well and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes uncovered, until the carrots are soft and lightly golden, turning halfway through cooking,

Meanwhile heat 1 tbsp olive oil and the butter in a large pan. Add the onion and fry for 3-4 minutes, until softened. Stir in the risotto rice and stir to coat well. Add the dried thyme and the wine and bring to the boil. Add the hot vegetable stock a quarter at a time, adding each quarter after the previous stock has been absorbed by the rice. This should take approx 25 minutes by which time the rice should be al dente.

Remove the carrots from the oven and stir into the rice. Season well and serve immediately with the Parmesan cheese. Garnish with flat leaf parsley.