It's a Thursday evening and food supplies are running low (especially after the 3 am drunken binge of potato wedges and pizza the other night). Tea time is approaching, you're getting hungry, and your mate in the next block is cooking all kinds of fancy dishes, which has inspired your competitive streak regardless of culinary ability.

You need something reasonably simple to cook, but complicated enough to send the ball whizzing back into their court, right? Well, this straight-forward tomato, fennel, and carrot risotto is the swift backhand you need to establish yourself as not an entirely incompetent chef without being too hard on your bank balance. 

Carrot, Fennel, and Tomato Risotto

  • Prep Time:5 mins
  • Cook Time:30 mins
  • Total Time:35 mins
  • Servings:4
  • Easy


  • 1 carrot
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons oil preferably olive
  • 300g risotto rice
  • 700ml vegetable stock
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 pinch chilli powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Step 1

    Finely peel and dice your carrot and onion, then fry them up with the oil in a medium-sized saucepan until the onion goes soft and translucent.

    Ella O'Reilly
  • Step 2

    Next, mince your garlic and add to the pan along with the dry rice. Frying the rice like this gives it a toasted flavour and breaks down some of the starch for a more creamy risotto. Allow this to cook for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring every 20 seconds or so to stop the rice cementing to the bottom of the pan.

    rice, vegetable, cereal, pepper
    Matt Volpe
  • Step 3

    Crack open your tinned tomatoes and pour them in along with 200ml of the stock, then mix it all together.

    Ella O'Reilly
  • Step 4

    Add the other seasonings.

    herb, condiment, relish, pepper, tea, cereal, chili, coffee, cumin, cinnamon
    Matt Volpe
  • Step 5

    Now here's where you need patience and a careful eye. Add the remaining stock a little at a time, waiting between each addition until the rice has absorbed it all before adding more. This should take around 20 minutes, and by this time your rice grains will have plumped up to a soft, fluffy consistency.

  • Step 6

    Serve immediately with a sprinkle of parsley in the fanciest bowl you can find.

    rice, risotto, meat, vegetable
    Matt Volpe