A little something for those of us who are time-poor, talent-challenged or just bone lazy, but still have a taste for a feed that doesn’t come in a packet. Or a tin.

    I like Italian food. I am a ferocious fan. I have family links. I’ve been there for the annual tomato sauce fiesta. I poured the wine. I was there when the pig was slaughtered, hung and turned into assorted small goods. Delicious mouth-watering salamis, the cotechino and the sausage so laden with chilli and fennel and gumps of pepper and chobs of fatty yum yum as to make grown men weep. I wept. But the risotto and its careful tending with the loving slosh of stock and stir was a time thief. Until now. Here is the backdoor, sloth’s version of getting a risotto onto your fork in 50 minutes.


    • A slosh of extra virgin olive oil
    • 150g mushrooms
    • Two or three rashers of bacon [rind off] or a chilly-laden pancetta
    • One or two garlic cloves
    • Three-quarters of a cup of arborio rice
    • Two cups good chicken stock
    • 20g butter
    • 40-ish grams of [English] spinach leaves
    • As much Parmesan as you can get away with, but no less than 30 grams
    • Salt and pepper


    Heat oven to 180C

    Heat oven-tolerant pan, slosh in oil

    Roughly chop mushies, bacon/pancetta and squish garlic, throw all in pan, cook until brownish [about 5 minutes]

    Tip in rice and chicken stock, cover with foil [to seal] and lid, place lovingly in oven.

    Open wine.

    When siri gets back to you in 40 minutes, thrown in butter, Parmesan, spinach and as much s&p as you can stomach. Stir, serve, eat. Feeds two selfish people. JD

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