Beetroot and Goats Cheese Risotto Recipe

Not only is this risotto perfectly pink, making it super fun to include in a Halloween feast or pink themed party, it is quite the cost effective meal. You can easily omit the wine to make it Halal or the cheese to make it Vegan and it’s such a delicious base flavour, you can really play around with it to make it your own. Add peas for an extra shot of greenery or if rocket’s not your thing, spinach also works well; just add a bit more pepper to give it a kick.

I think risotto is almost better the next day so keep your leftovers and reheat for a few minutes with an extra knob of butter and sprinkling of parmesan for the lunch to envy all co-workers.

Serves 3

Ingredients:

600ml veg stock

1tbsp olive oil

1 red onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

200g risotto rice

1 glass dry white wine

1 knob butter

150g cooked beetroot

50g parmesan cheese

150g goats cheese

1 bag rocket

 

Recipe:

1.   Heat olive oil over low heat and gently fry onion and garlic until soft. Add rice and increase heat.

2.   When rice is translucent add wine and reduce. Turn down the heat.

3.   Slowly add ladleful’s of stock and stir to massage it into the rice. Add salt and pepper throughout to taste.

4.   Blitz cooked beetroot in processor until a puree is made.

5.   Once rice is cooked through still with a little bite, stir through the beetroot puree. Add the knob of butter and parmesan and stick a lid on. Don’t touch for 3 minutes.

6.   While waiting for the risotto to finish, pull apart blobs of goat’s cheese.

7.   Fold in the rocket throughout the risotto and allow to wilt slightly.

8.    Serve with blobs of goat’s cheese and another twist of pepper.

Gnocchi with Kale Pesto Recipe

Gnocchi is one of those things that just soaks up flavour- much like its main ingredient, potato! It can have yummy sauces added it to it, like this take on pesto or it can itself be flavoured. A favourite autumn lunch of mine is gnocchi made with some mashed steamed squash or pumpkin and a simple brown butter and sage ‘sauce’ (literally just brown some butter and crisp up some sage in it…). Pesto is another super easy sauce to jazz up to your tastes. I’ve used kale here for a lovely bitter note but just as easily you could use spinach or any other leafy greens- I’ve been known to use carrot tops before! Whizz it up as smooth as you like but a bit of texture always add to the dish.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

1 kg baking potatoes

salt and pepper

1 egg

300 g plain flour

 

For the pesto:

85 g toasted pine nuts

85 g Parmesan (or veg alternative)

3 garlic cloves

75 ml olive oil

85 g kale

zest and juice of 1 lemon

 

Recipe:

1.   Spike the potatoes all round, wrap in kitchen paper and microwave for 10 minutes.

2.   Cut in half and remove the flesh into a bowl. Add the flour and seasoning. Stir through and leave to cool for a few minutes then squidge in the egg to make a dough.

3.   Roll into balls. Leave in the fridge to harden up slightly while you make the pesto.

4.   Blend everything for the pesto together until smooth.

5.   Cook the gnocchi in salted water until they float to the top.

6.   Stir through the pesto until warm. Serve!

Red Pepper Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe

Day-before prep for lunches is the best way to stop yourself spending £8 at Pret (no matter how good their sarnies are…) every day and then wondering why you’ve got no wine money at the end of the week. It can be hard to fit in when you get home and all you want to do is continue whatever box set you’re currently 3 seasons deep into but this one can be done in a flash. You can make a few for the week on a Sunday if you’re super organised and keep it all in the fridge until you’re ready to layer up and go! This easy red pepper pesto is full of flavour and if you choose a wholegrain pasta you’ll be full all afternoon in preparation for that marathon watching when you get in…

Serves 1

Ingredients:

For the pesto:

Jar of red peppers

75g unsalted cashews

bunch of parsley

1 garlic clove

50g Parmesan, grated

2 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper

 

75g any pasta, cooked and tossed in olive oil

+ anything else you fancy, make it colourful!

 

Recipe:

1.   Stick everything for the pesto in a food processor and blend until smooth.

2.   Stir through the pasta and pop in the bottom of the jar.

3.   Layer up! Add one of spinach, sliced cherry tomatoes and mozzarella balls.

4.   Stick it all in a bowl and smush round for deliciousness!