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Risotto with Zucchini Cream and Basil

Risotto with Zucchini Cream and Basil

Risotto with Zucchini Cream and Basil, deliciously creamy and comforting but also fresh and perfect for spring.

Course Main
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Author Manuela Zangara


  • 320 gms – 11.5 oz. rice Arborio, Carnaroli or Vialone nano
  • 250 gms – 9 oz. zucchini sliced (I used baby zucchini)
  • ½ onion finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil divided
  • 50 ml – ¼ cup white wine
  • 1 lt – 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 4 tbsp Parmigiano Reggiano finely grated
  • 30 gms – 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 ½ basil leaves chopped
  • Salt to taste


  1. Put half of the extra virgin olive oil in a pot. Add the sliced zucchini and 2 tablespoons of water. Season with salt to taste and cook, covered, on a slow fire for 5 minutes, or until cooked.
  2. Put the fire off and blend until smooth. You may need to add a little water to blend them, but keep it creamy and not watery.
  3. Put the stock in a pot and heat it on the fire. The stock has to be hot all the time while you are cooking risotto, so that the rice temperature does not drop when you add it to it.
  4. Put the remaining finely chopped onion and the 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil in a pot and let it cook on a slow fire, until the onion becomes soft and transparent.
  5. Add the rice, mix well and let it cook for 1 or 2 minutes, until it becomes translucent.
  6. Now pour in the white wine and let the alcohol burn off by cooking on a high flame.
  7. Then add enough hot stock to cover the rice and turn the fire to medium-low. Keep cooking, occasionally stirring the rice and adding hot stock little by little, until the rice is cooked. It is going to take approximately 18 to 20 minutes depending on the rice you are using.
  8. After the first 15 minutes, add the zucchini purée and keep cooking the rice.
  9. When the rice is ready, put the fire off and add the chopped basil leaves, butter and grated Parmigiano Reggiano. Mix very well, until the rice becomes creamy.
  10. Make sure that your risotto is moist (or, as we say, all’onda – which literally means wavy) and not sticky. You can do that by adding 1 or 2 extra tbsp of hot stock if needed. Check for salt and season to your liking.
  11. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

Do not wash the rice before cooking it. You want to keep the starch in it, as that is what makes risotto naturally creamy.