• Spice is always nice, especially in this smoked paprika risotto with saffron aïoli. Risotto is a great comfort dish, but the spice adds a lighter dimension of flavour to counteract the heaviness. 

    Smoked paprika risotto with saffron aïoli

    Serves: 4 - 6
    Cooking Time: 1 hr


    • Saffron aïoli

    • 2 large egg yolks
    • 5ml (1 tsp) red wine vinegar
    • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
    • 150ml olive oil
    • 1 pinch of saffron threads
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • 5ml (1 tsp) sugar
    • juice of 1 small lemon
    • Risotto

    • 30ml (2 tbsp) butter
    • 30ml (2 tbsp) olive oil
    • ½ large onion, finely chopped
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • 250ml (1 cup) arborio rice
    • 250ml (1 cup) dry white wine
    • 750ml (3 cups) hot vegetable stock
    • 2,5ml (½ tsp) smoked paprika
    • 15ml (1 tbsp) tomato purée
    • 125ml (½ cup) Parmesan, finely grated
    • 30ml (2 tbsp) fresh basil, leaves picked and sliced



    For the aïoli, whisk together the egg yolks and the vinegar, then add the garlic and, in a slow stream, add the oil while whisking continuously until the mixture is pale and thick. Mix in the saffron, salt, pepper and sugar. Add the lemon juice and set aside for a few minutes to allow the saffron to infuse.


    For the risotto, melt the butter and oil together and sauté the onion and garlic for a few minutes.


    Add the rice and sauté over low to medium heat until the rice begins to brown, about 3 – 4 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until it has all been absorbed into the rice. Add 125ml (½ cup) of the stock and simmer until absorbed, then add another and continue to do so until there is only about 250ml (1 cup) of the stock left. The rice should be firm and not mushy at all. If it has not yet reached this point, add more stock and continue testing after each addition of stock.


    Add the remainder of the ingredients, stir to melt the Parmesan and combine well.


    Serve immediately with your selection of grilled seafood, quails and aïoli arranged on top of the risotto.