Italian munching rice-less risotto

    40 min

    When I was young we used to spend our family holidays in the mountains across Spain and Portugal, so my love for Spanish cuisine grew from an early age. Memories of eating piping hot paella’s by the pool, as my Dad strolled around with no top on – his hairy, 40 year old belly desperately trying to fight gravity – brings a huge smile to my face! So its been natural for me to experiment with different recipes to make my own, personal paella/risotto, bringing together an infusion of flavours that I love. Problem is, I’m ever so slightly wheat intolerant, so a moment of rice on my lips, a week of bloating, and pain will follow, and certainly a lifetime on the hips. This dish is easy, tasty and can be personalised to suit you and your taste. Hope you enjoy!

    London, England, UK
    1 person made this

    Serves: 2 

    • 1 knob butter or coconut oil (optional)
    • 1 large white onion, finely chopped
    • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
    • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 175ml vermouth
    • 70g bulgur wheat
    • 100g yellow split peas
    • 85g giant couscous
    • 600ml (1 pint) fish or vegetable stock
    • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
    • 2 to 3 green and red chillies
    • salt and pepper, to taste
    • 1 red or green pepper
    • 85g garden peas
    • 1 to 2 handfuls assorted fish (see tip)
    • 1 large sprig basil
    • 1 large handful spinach
    • 2 to 3 tablespoons grated cheese, of your choice
    • chopped fresh corainder, to garnish

    Prep:20min  ›  Cook:20min  ›  Ready in:40min 

    1. Now, if you’re going to be naughty, then cook this dish with a generous dab of butter. It really does make this dish indulgent. However, if you want to stick to being healthy, the best oil you can cook with is coconut oil. Heat your chosen 'fat' in a wide frying pan over a medium heat and add the onion, spring onion and garlic. Gently simmer and let the vegetables sweat, and turn soft. Avoid burning by continuous stirring.
    2. Add half of your vermouth and let the flavours combine. Add your bulgur wheat, split peas and couscous and give the ingredients a good stir. Keep the heat low and leave to soak up all the flavours for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the remainder of your vermouth, followed by approximately 100ml of your stock. You’re going to be adding your stock very gradually over the course of about ten minutes, so keep this in mind and judge according to how quickly your mixture absorbs the liquid.
    3. Bring the heat up so the liquid is gently bubbling away, and keep adding the stock until you've used it all up, do so gradually. Pour in the fish sauce and stir. Finely chop 1 to 2 chillies and add to the dish and simmer for ten minutes adding seasoning to taste.
    4. Slice your red pepper and add to the dish along with your peas. Add your chosen fish pieces and rip up your basil leaves and add with the spinach – let the ingredients soften and wilt. Finally, keeping a very low heat for the last 15 minutes, let the dish sit and cook so everything soaks up the flavours. Season and taste.
    5. Get your bowls ready to serve – plate up and sprinkle with grated cheese and coriander! I add an extra chilli for an added bite.


    These dishes can vary with the amount of liquid the soak up. When gradually adding your stock, use your eyes to tell whether you need to take your time, add more or less etc. If you feel like there's too much liquid, have a taste and check the texture. In the same light, if you need more liquid, use freshly boiled water from the kettle to top up.


    Most supermarkets do assorted packs, or use anything from your freezer for example, 1 fillet cod, 1 fillet salmon and a some prawns.

    See it on my blog

    Modest munching blog

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