Carrot Risotto

On Sunday I dropped Owen off at the airport, meaning I have two whole weeks to myself! I'm not sure what I'm going to do, maybe I will entertain myself by spending more time in the kitchen. We had a lovely late brunch on Sunday morning at Elements Cafe out near Lyall Bay. We hadn't been there in a while. I had the most delicious hash brown, bacon, cabbage and poached eggs. Yum. If you're a Wellingtonian and looking for an alternative to Maranui or Spruce Goose, Elements is just around the corner and in my opinion has just as good food!

I have been trying to make more Risottos this year, starting with this carrot risotto. It sounds kind of weird, carrots in a risotto, but it's actually super delicious. The mascarpone cheese in this really brings it all together giving it that perfect 'melt-in-your-mouth' texture. Of course with added white wine and parmesan, you really can't go wrong with the flavours. I like to add quite a bit of salt and pepper to my risottos to give it that extra zing.

If you're not a mushroom fan, leave the mushrooms out! If you're not a bacon fan you could perhaps substitute it for ham? Like always there is no right or wrong when it comes to my cooking! I don't think I have ever made the same recipe exactly twice. I'm always mixing up the ingredients depending on what I feel like that day.

Do you have a favourite risotto? Let me know in the comments below!

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Carrot Risotto

Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil, divided
50g of butter
8 carrots, peeled and grated
1 1/4 cups of water
1/2 tsp of salt
1 tsp of sugar
5 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 onions, diced
2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
200g of mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
2 tbsp of dried parsley
2 tbsp of dried thyme

Method

In a frying pan, heat olive oil and 25g of butter and wait until melted. Add carrots and stir until well mixed. Add water, sugar and salt to the carrots and stir until combined. Let simmer for 5-10 minutes or until water evaporates. The carrots should start to turn golden. Put half the carrots aside and the other half into the blender. Add 3/4 cup of hot water and puree in the blender until smooth.

Heat remaining butter in the pan and add diced onions. Cook until translucent. Add rice and stir, combining it with the onions and butter. Pour in the wine (it will sizzle) and mix into the mixture. Keep stirring until wine has evaporated. Add the carrot puree and stir.

Bring chicken stock to a simmer in a pot. Once simmering, add a ladle of broth to the rice and stir until evaporated. Continue this until broth is completely evaporated and the rice becomes el dente. Leave 1/2 cup of stock in the pot for later use.

Stir in mascarpone, remaining carrots, parsley, thyme and parmesan. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of broth to the mixture which will help loosen the risotto. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve with some parsley or parmesan on top.

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