68. Baked mushroom, chestnut & pea risotto with truffle oil

Home Cooking Made Easy p158

I’m not normally a follower of homeopathy, but since our local deli had sold out of truffle oil (what is it with the residents of Tiverton?), I had to go for homeopathic truffle “flavoured” oil from Tesco. Once upon a time, long long ago, this oil saw a molecule of truffle.

I also couldn’t find cooked chestnuts anywhere (I later found out the butcher sells them), so I had to roast my own. I had sort of forgotten chestnuts pop, until they did, coating the inside of the oven. It was whilst cleaning the oven out, that I realised the oven door was about to fall off. The grill door already had, one of the rings didn’t work, and the oven temperature was notoriously irregular. But this recipe sounded the death knoll for this 15 year old antique artifact.

I always cook risottos in the oven because I really can’t be bothered with the standing around stirring nature of a normal risotto. You basically fry the vegetables (mushrooms and chestnuts in this case), add the rice to coat in oil, add white wine, stock and cook in the oven for about 30-40 minutes. Add parmesan at the end (or not, for a dairy-free version). This version also adds peas towards the end and is served with a drizzle of truffle flavoured oil.

I didn’t want to make the same mistake as the omelette, so I fried some bacon lardons to add to it. The risotto was a bit dull without the bacon I thought. I can’t say what it would have been like with real truffle oil, but even the homeopathic stuff was quite nice.

I served it with rocket. It makes a slightly posher risotto for a dinner party.

And hurrah for my lovely new cooker!

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