Rice and easy risotto recipe uses up your leftovers, says Sheffield PR guru Cathy Hinsley

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Single mum Cathy Hinsley loves cooking, but hates following recipes.

“My dishes never look like the ones in the pictures and usually the taste is a bit lacking, so even though I adore James Martin and Paul Hollywood, I ignore what the professionals say and just create! Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t but I’m always learning,” says Cathy, of Totley, an account manager for The Edge PR.

“My job has taught me how important perception is; if I stand in the kitchen with a calm look on my face and deliver a nicely-presented meal, people believe I’m a good cook,” reveals Cathy, who was taught by her mum and grandma as a child and loves finding quick and easy recipes which will use up fridge left-overs and appeal to her five-year-old.

Cathy’s loto Risotto

Serves: 4 Cost: from 30p to £2.00 per serving depending on ingredients


300g arborio rice

A splash of olive or vegetable oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 litre of vegetable/chicken stock

½ glass of white wine (leave out if cooking for children)

Vegetables – peppers, peas, mushrooms, leeks, green beans - anything you have in the fridge

Meat or poultry left from the Sunday roast, cooked prawns, smoked haddock or salmon


Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the rice and stir, ensuring all the grains are glistening with oil. Lower the heat slightly and add the wine. Keep stirring until almost all of it soaked into the rice. Pour in some of the stock (around 150ml at a time). Also add the chopped onion. Stir until the stock has almost disappeared.

Continue this process, adding stock and another vegetable each time (start with hardest veg, working down to soft ones which don’t need much cooking, e.g mushrooms). When all the stock is used up and the rice is looking plump and creamy, add any meat/fish. Serve with a sprinkle of parmesan and black pepper. You can also use this base method to make specific risottos such as smoked haddock and leek or prawn and lemon.

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