Classic comfort food

Photo: Aleisha Ruddenklau
Photo: Aleisha Ruddenklau
At the end of a cold day, is there anything better than a rich, creamy, heart-warming risotto,  asks Otago Polytechnic culinary arts student Alesha Ruddenklau.

Aleisha Ruddenklau
Aleisha Ruddenklau
Risotto with spicy chorizo, earthy mushrooms and fresh spinach packs a punch in terms of taste and colour.

And, when paired with aromatic garlic, fried onions and Parmesan cheese, there is no better alternative when you are craving comfort food.

This is a wonderful dish to make ahead of time if you are in need of a quick lunch or dinner option as it stores easily in the fridge and heats up in moments.

If you wish to indulge even further, add extra grated Parmesan cheese and cracked black pepper on top.

Chorizo, mushroom and spinach risotto

olive oil
sprig of rosemary
400g arborio rice
1 large onion, diced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
8 medium mushrooms sliced
3 small chorizo sausages, sliced 1cm thick
1L of chicken stock
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup spinach
350ml white wine
knob of butter
cracked black pepper, to taste

1. In a large heavy pan, heat a splash of olive oil. Add the garlic and onion and cook on a medium heat for few minutes, until softened and fragrant.

2. Add mushrooms and chorizo and saute until mushrooms are browned and oil is coming out of the chorizo. Set aside in a separate bowl.

3. Heat a dash of olive oil and add the risotto rice. Move around the pan constantly for 3-4 minutes until lightly browned.

4. Add wine in rice and stir until most of it is absorbed. Add in the mushroom and chorizo mix to the pan, with the rosemary sprig.

5. Slowly add stock, 250ml at a time, adding more each time it has absorbed. Keep stirring until stock has finished reducing or rice is cooked but still has a crunch. Remove rosemary sprig and discard. If your rice is still too crunchy, add some more stock and cook on a lower heat.

6. Once finished, add Parmesan cheese, spinach and butter. Stir until cheese and butter has melted and the spinach has wilted.

7. Serve with cracked black pepper to taste.

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