Savour the delicious versatility of risotto with this vegetarian risotto cake recipe.


  • 1 medium green courgette

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped

  • 1 x 400 g/ 1lb tin chopped plum tomatoes

  • ½  tsp balsamic vinegar

  • 1 tsp dark brown sugar

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

  • 2 handfuls of basil, coarsely chopped or hand-torn

  • 300ml / ½ pint cups arborio rice

  • 100g / 4oz mozzarella, cut into 1cm / ½  inch dice

  • 100g / 4oz Fontina, Manchego, or other hard, mature cheese, cut into ¼ inch dice

  • 50g / 2 oz freshly grated parmesan

  • 4 tbsp toasted breadcrumbs

  • basil oil:

  • handful of basil leaves

  • 4 tbsp top quality olive oil

  • fresh bay leaf sprigs, to decorate


  • 1.

    Trim the stem end of the courgettes and slice lengthwise into 5mm / ¼ inch thick pieces. Blanche in boiling water for 2 minutes, then refresh in ice water.

  • 2.

    Meanwhile prepare the tomato sauce. Heat 3 tbsp of olive oil in a pan and add the garlic. When fragrant, add the chopped tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the sauce thickens slightly. Stir in the basil.

  • 3.

    Cook the rice in salted boiling water until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain.

  • 4.

    Stir the rice into the tomato sauce. Stir in the cheeses and taste, adding more salt and pepper if needed.

  • 5.

    Heat the oven to 230C /450 F. Oil the bottom and sides of a 500g / 1lb loaf tin and coat with 2 tbsp breadcrumbs. Spoon half the rice mixture into the tin and smooth down firmly, then make a layer of courgettes. Top with the rest of the rice, smoothing it down firmly. Sprinkle the remaining breadcrumbs on top. (The cake may be refrigerated at this point if it is not to be cooked immediately, but return it to room temperature before baking.)

  • 6.

    Make the basil oil. Whizz basil and oil together briefly in a food processor.

  • 7.

    Bake the torta for 30 minutes, or until golden and bubbling around the edges. Rest for a few minutes then run a sharp knife around the sides. Place a board on top, flip over and remove the tin. If it seems to be sticking to the tin, give it a few firm thumps on top with a wooden spoon. Decorate the cake with holly or bay leaf sprigs and serve with basil oil. Use a very sharp knife to cut the cake into slices.

Nutritional information

Nutritional analysis per serving (4 servings)

  • Energy 699kj
  • Fat Total 38g
  • Saturated Fat 13g
  • Protein 23g
  • Carbohydrate 65g
  • Sugar 5g
  • Sodium 737mg

Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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