Tuesday, 11 October 2016


I started the 5:2 diet again yesterday after 11 months off it - I have a stone of baby weight left to lose and it is not going to come off unless I actually try very hard. The 5:2 diet worked really well for me previously so I am hoping it will have the same effect although I couldn't be less motivated. 

Before my 500 calorie day, I obviously needed a good "send off", so for my last meal Pascal and I cooked a creamy mushroom and pancetta risotto. This is from a recipe card from Waitrose from September 2004.....definitely time to cook it!! It took about an hour in total to cook as you have to soak the mushrooms for 20 minutes and I tweaked the recipe slightly - i.e. I added more cheese and pancetta.

Ingredients for 6 people:

45g dried porcini mushrooms
160g pancetta (we used lardons)
25g unsalted butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, crushed
500g carnaroli risotto rice
150ml red wine (I just used stock)
1.5 litres hot vegetable or chicken stock
20g fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
100g Parmesan, grated (plus extra for serving)

Soak the mushrooms in 300ml of warm, previously boiled water for 20 minutes and then strain through a sieve, reserving the liquid. Our mushrooms were already chopped, but if yours aren't, cut them into small pieces.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter with the oil and then stir in the onion, garlic and pancetta and cook for around 4 minutes until the pancetta is golden.

Add the mushrooms and cook for 2-3 minutes and then add the rice and cook for another couple of minutes.

Pour in the wine (or stock) and cook until the liquid is absorbed and then stir in the mushroom liquid and again cook until this is absorbed.

Finally season with black pepper and then add the hot stock, a ladleful at a time, stirring constantly until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender but firm to the bite. This is the time consuming part!

Stir in the Parmesan and parsley.

Serve and enjoy!

Risotto is one of my favourite foods and this certainly did not disappoint - I love the combination of the mushrooms and pancetta and me being me sprinkled some extra Parmesan on top. A great dish - you could also "jazz it up" by adding a drizzle of truffle oil at the end (I forgot to do this and I deeply regret it)!

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