Our novelty Sweet Chilli Risotto with Peppers certainly stands out from the crowd. Untraditionally, it’s made with a rich tomato and sweet chilli sauce stock. Asian-Italian fusion is a daring combination, but trust us when we say, it’s one of the best risottos in our recipe archives!
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How Is This Pepper Risotto Different?
This recipe may surprise and even outrange some of the risotto purists out there. We add no wine to our Sweet Chilli Pepper risotto, and flavour the stock with a standard shop-bought sweet chilli sauce! But take a leap of faith here. This Asian-Italian fusion recipe is a representation of how well ingredients from various parts of the world can work in perfect harmony when you get the balance just right!
How To Make The Creamiest Risotto?
Great creamy risotto has a few fundamental rules that should be adhered to for the best results:
- Rice for Risotto: Risotto rice needs to be short, starchy and able to withstand long cooking time. Some of the widely available varieties are Arborio and Carnaroli rice (and out of the two, we prefer Carnaroli). Both types of rice are perfect for slow long cooking, letting the rice infuse with all the flavours of stock without losing its shape.
- Toast the Rice: toasting the rice in a pan before adding any stock is an important step in any risotto preparation. The process seals the surface of the rice, helping it preserve its shape and retain the typical al dente texture.
- Keep the Stock Hot: Put your stock in a pan and keep it on low heat. This ensures an even cooking temperature. If your stock cools down, it will prolong the cooking time and your rice may become soggy in the process.
- Add Stock Little By Little: Not adding all the stock at the same time allows the rice to release its starch at a slow rate, making the risotto creamy. Another advantage of adding the stock gradually is being able to control how much of the stock is actually needed before the rice is cooked.
Step 1: Roast The Peppers
I like picking 2 different colour peppers for this meal. Just for the sake of presentation, really… Slice the peppers and spread them into a single layer on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and some salt. Pop into a pre-heated oven (170° Fan) and cook for 20-25 minutes, until soft and just starting to brown. When they’re done, cover them with foil to keep them warm and set them aside for later.
Step 2: Make the Sweet Chilli Stock
Whilst peppers are roasting, prepare your stock. In a pan, crumble in a stock cube. Add 2 tablespoon of tomato paste and 30g of sweet chilli sauce, turmeric, smoked paprika and a tablespoon of red wine vinegar. Pour 700 ml of boiling water. Mix well and keep covered on the lowest heat.
STEP 3: Make the Sweet Chilli Risotto
Now, chop your red onion and fry it for a few minutes in a large frying pan with a splash of oil. Add the risotto rice and finely chopped garlic and fry for another 1-2 minutes.
Whilst this recipe uses some less traditional ingredients, the cooking methods are more conventional. Add warm stock, 2 ladles at a time, stirring continuously. Cook until stock is almost fully absorbed before adding more. Carry on until you have no stock left.
Step 4: Assemble and Serve
Grate the cheese. We love using mature cheddar for our risottos, but feel free to use any other hard cheese: parmesan, Grana Padano or manchego – all work well! Then slice the spring onion diagonally.
When your risotto is cooked (it’s perfect when served slightly al dente), stir in half of your roasted peppers and half of the grated cheese. Taste for seasoning. Add salt and pepper as required.
Spoon your risotto into two bowls and top with the rest of the peppers, grated cheese and sprinkle spring onions on top. Simple! And so delicious!
What To Serve Pepper Risotto With?
We love this sweet chilli risotto on its own – there is so much flavour in it that it doesn’t really need any side dishes! However, if you are hungry or simply looking for a real feast to impress your guests, serve it with some simple sides, like:
- Slices of crusty bread (or make Korean Garlic Cream Cheese Bread for a super decadent fusion meal).
- Steamed tenderstem broccoli.
- Char-grilled Pak Choi.
Other Delicious Risotto Recipes
Hope you enjoyed this Risotto with Peppers! Not quite what you’re looking for? Here are some other ideas for delicious risottos:
- Smoked Cheese & Chicken Risotto with Dukkah
- Spinach and Mushroom Risotto with Pecan & Garlic Drizzle
- Blue Cheese Risotto with Sweet Potatoes & Walnuts
Sweet Chilli Risotto With Peppers
- 2 peppers, different colours deseeded and sliced
- 1 red onion finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 160 g risotto rice
- 700 vegetable stock
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 25 g sweet chilli sauce
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 spring onion sliced diagonally
- 40 g mature cheddar grated
- olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 170°C. Slice the peppers and spread into a single layer on a large baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and some salt. Place into a pre-heated oven and cook for 20-25 minutes, until soft and just starting to brown. When they’re cooked, cover with foil to keep warm and set aside for later.
- To make stock, crumble a stock cube in a pan. Add 2 tablespoon of tomato paste and 30g of sweet chilli sauce, turmeric, smoked paprika and a tablespoon on red wine vinegar. Pour 700 ml of boiling water. Mix well and keep covered on the lowest heat.
- Heat a splash of olive oil in a large frying pan. Add chopped onion and fry for 4 minutes until starting to soften.
- Add the risotto rice and finely chopped garlic and fry for another 1-2 minutes.
- Add warm stock, 2 ladles at a time, stirring continuously. Cook until stock is almost fully absorbed before adding more. Carry on until you have no stock left.
- When your risotto is cooked, stir in half of your roasted peppers and half of the grated cheese. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as required.
- Serve with the rest of the roasted peppers, grated cheese and a sprinkle of spring onions on top.