“I started this from tasting a little starter of Pea & Pesto Risotto bought at Tesco, and using just some of the ingredients I came up with this. I find it's best to parboil the broccoli while the rice is cooking, that way when it's added near the end it's cooked but still green, not olive coloured and not mushy. On the broccoli, it's about 2 cups, if you take a normal green broccoli head and pull off 4 of the large florets and then split those into smaller pieces, that's about right. If you like you could also add a teaspoon of Basil Pesto with the fresh chopped Basil at the end - but I forgot this when I made it - mainly because it tasted lovely without and I was hungry!”

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Pour the boiling water into a pyrex or other heat resistant jug, add the chicken stock cube (or veg cube) and stir to dissolve.
  2. Put the knob of butter (about 1 or 2 teaspoons) into a wok or deep frying pan - I used a medium sized non-stick one - easier. Put the pan onto a hotplate full on or just below.
  3. (Meanwhile put the Broccoli, split into bite sized pieces, into a small pan of water with a pinch of salt to cook for about 3 to 5 mins).
  4. When the butter has melted and begun to bubble, but not brown, add the cup of rice. Stir for a minute or 2, not longer or the rice will brown.
  5. Then add about a cup of the water & stock cube mix, stir now and then until the liquid has almost all gone, then add more stock, and stir again until the liquid had again almost gone - keep doing this until the stock is almost all gone from the jug, leaving about 1 cupful.
  6. At this point add the chopped asparagus spears and the last cup of stock, reduce again stirring now and then.
  7. Add the mangetout peas (cut into 3) and frozen peas and another cup of fresh boiled water, reduce again,.
  8. then add the strained broccoli, 3 grated cheeses and the Mascarpone.
  9. Now you just need to keep on tasting the rice to make sure it isn't hard - if it's still hard but the liquid in the pan is gone then add another cup of boiled water and reduce again, repeat until the rice is soft enough to eat.
  10. Just before serving add the chopped fresh basil - Yum!
  11. The other way is to just cook the rice and stock/water alone until it is soft enough to eat, then add the cooked broccoli, peas and mangetout - if you are doing it this way then blanch the asparagus in boiling water for 2 - 3 mins and add at the same time as the broccoli, then add the 4 cheeses and stir on the heat until thick and creamy.
  12. Then add the chopped fresh Basil stir and serve. Maybe with another grating of fresh pecorino cheese on top.
  13. Serve as a vegetarian main meal or as an accompaniment to a main meal or as a little starter - if a starter it might stretch to 8 or 10, depending on the size of your individual serving dishes.

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