The Food team share their recipe of the fortnight with this risotto to keep those January blues at bay…

Food editor, 3rd year Bsc. Psychology student.
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One of my favourite all time dishes has to be Risotto – as soon as you’ve made it once you’ll realise how simple and versatile it can be. I make Risotto so often here at uni that I’m always looking to adapt the basic process and make it more interesting by adding a variety of different ingredients on each occasion. Some of the best combinations I’ve tried so far include: cheddar cheese and chive (the best recipe combination if your fridge stock is running low!), courgette and bacon, prawn and pea, and tomato pesto with shredded mozzarella.

Over the Christmas holidays I rediscovered my love of sweet potato

Mushrooms are a classic main ingredient basis for Risotto, in this recipe you can use whatever type of mushroom you prefer. I opted to try something different so I added Shitake mushrooms but Chesnut mushrooms will work just the same. If you have some white wine already opened you can add in around 100ml along with the stock to enhance the overall flavour. With a few basic ingredients, you have a simple yet effective dish. If you’re looking to try something different that’s not too time-consuming then this Risotto might just be the thing.

Ingredients (to serve 2):

  • 1tbsp olive oil

  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped

  • 1/2 sweet potato, peeled and diced into small chunks

  • 50g mushrooms, sliced

  • 2 rashers of bacon, sliced into small pieces

  • 200g Risotto rice (I used Arborio but there are a few varieties available)

  • 600ml vegetable stock

  • Pinch of salt and pepper



  1. Heat the oil in a medium-sized saucepan then add the onion and fry until softened but be careful not to brown them too much.
  2. Add in the mushrooms and fry again before mixing in the rice and cooking for another minute or so.
  3. Turn down the heat to a simmer then add the sweet potato and start pouring in the stock gradually to allow the rice to absorb the liquid but stirring the mixture every so often to prevent sticking. Continue cooking the risotto for 30 minutes or so until the stock has reduced and the rice is cooked, check that the sweet potato has softened also.
  4. In a frying pan, cook the bacon pieces until brown and crisp then mix these into the saucepan with the risotto and heat the mixture one last time for another minute before seasoning and serving.

Tip: you can grate in some Parmesan or Cheddar at the end of cooking if you fancy adding an extra creamy flavour!