Spicy courgettes with saffron risotto

Spicy courgettes with saffron risotto

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(4 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 30 mins


Serves 4
Simple and satisfying - perfect for impressing friends

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal359
  • fat9g
  • saturates1g
  • carbs65g
  • sugars1g
  • fibre3g
  • protein8g
  • salt0.07g
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  • 2 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 600g small courgette, halved lengthways



    The courgette is a variety of cucurbit, which means it's from the same family as cucumber,…

  • ½ tsp paprika



    A spice that's central to Hungarian cuisine, paprika is made by drying a particular type of…

  • 1 onion, chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 500g plum tomato, chopped
  • 1 large red chilli, halved and deseeded
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 250g pack saffron-flavoured risotto rice
    Risotto rice

    Risotto rice

    To create an authentic creamy Italian risotto, the use of specialist rice is imperative. It…

  • 600ml boiling water
  • fresh basil leaves and vegetarian parmesan-style cheese shavings, to garnish
  • arborio rice
    Arborio rice

    Arborio rice

    ahh-bore-e-o rice

    The high-starch kernels of this northern Italian-grown grain are shorter and plumper than any…


  1. Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan, then add the courgettes and fry for 3-4 mins until browned. Sprinkle with paprika, drain, then transfer to a shallow ovenproof baking dish.

  2. Add the remaining oil to the frying pan and fry the onion and garlic for 5 mins, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned.

  3. Add chopped tomatoes, chilli, sugar and seasoning, then cook for a further 2 mins. Spoon sauce over the courgettes, then put in the oven on a low shelf.

  4. Put the risotto rice into a casserole dish with the boiling water, then season. Cover and cook in the oven, above the courgettes, for 20 mins until the rice and courgettes are tender.

  5. Fluff up the rice with a fork, then spoon onto warmed serving plates. Top with the courgette mixture and garnish with fresh basil leaves and cheese.

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Comments, questions and tips

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3rd Oct, 2018
Forgot to say, that I also added smoked paprika to my courgette mixture and this really brought out some lovely flavours! Sorry - couldn't edit my comment below.
2nd Oct, 2018
I agree with flumpet42, this is a really good base to mess around with. I put a packet of Tilda Mexican Chilli & Bean microwave rice in the bottom of a casserole dish. I then made the courgette mixture, but I didn't add chilli or sugar, but instead added some mushrooms and smoked paprika and added some passata as well as a can of chopped plum tomatoes. When that had softened a bit, I poured that over the rice, sprinkled over some grated cheddar then put it in the oven for about 25 minutes. I then took it out, made two little pools and added an egg in each pool, then put it all back in the oven for about another 15 minutes until the eggs had cooked. I wasn't sure how it would turn out, but the rice absorbed a lot of the tomato liquid and came out really soft, enhanced by the smoked paprika and topped with the egg. A very good dish that I will definitely make again.
26th May, 2017
I made my own risotto, adding shallot, garlic and veg stock to risotto rice. Unfortunately couldn't get saffron. The colourful vegetables on top looked good and tasted delicious.
12th Oct, 2012
I will confess I haven't made this with the rice, and I haven't made it without changing it, but it seems to be a good base to muck about with. I first added some chorizo and dried thyme to the tomato sauce. I also doubled the amount of paprika and added that to the sauce too, simmering it for around 15 minutes. Then I grated some gruyere onto the courgettes, put the tomato sauce on, then added more gruyere on top of that. It was fab as a main with just boiled rice. The second time I omitted the chorizo and served it as a side with some breaded pork escalopes, which was also yummy!
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