The Recipe Wheel Is A Cookery Book That You Will Actually Use

Enough excuses. Rosie Ramsden's The Recipe Wheel makes cooking for any occasion easy.


by Amelia Phillips |
Published on

Some people rustle together poussin done three ways with a truffle foam every night. Good for them. There are four recipe books in my collection, all of them ornaments. Why am I so reluctant to open them?

Well, there are a few reasons. One is a lack of time – or my willingness to apportion my precious time to cooking. The other is because I know that each recipe calls for a pantry of new ingredients. Surely no one can consume that number of bay leaves within the given shelf life?


Rosie Ramsden’s The Recipe Wheel makes cooking much easier, tempting even the novice and cheapskate through categories like ‘No Frills’ and ‘Leftovers’. Plus, Rosie’s diagrams make it feel like a game.

Flicking through cookery books and endless websites in the hope that something will catch your eye always seems to result in the same plate of food: cheese on toast. With Rosie’s book, you first choose a wheel. Each one contains a core recipe like fish, cake or risotto. You then choose your final recipe by deciding how you want to cook – for example to ‘Impress’ or for a ‘Night In’, and the perfect recipe awaits.

Few of the recipes contain more than 10 or 15 ingredients, but it isn’t just student grub and salads. There’s chicken and mango curry, southern-style brisket and salted chocolate pistachio cake. Enough dribbling, here’s a risotto recipe from the wheel to get your teeth into, followed by a quick and dirty recipe to use up all those leftovers with.

Night in: Broad bean, parmesan and mint risotto



200g freshly podded or frozen broad beans

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus an extra teaspoon for the pancetta and for drizzling

25g unsalted butter

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 stick of celery, finely chopped

*a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg *

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

150g risotto rice

175ml white wine or vermouth

600ml fresh chicken or vegetable stock, heated

50g smoked pancetta, cubed

50g Parmesan cheese, grated

a small handful of fresh mint leaves, finely sliced

pea shoots, to serve


Bring a pan of water to the boil and add the broad beans. After 2 minutes, drain and refresh under cold water. Pop the bright green beans out of their skins into another bowl of cold water and set aside (younger beans may not need popping, but the skins can often be bitter and rubbery).

Heat the olive oil and half the butter in a large saucepan over a medium-low heat and add the onion, celery and nutmeg. Season and gently fry for 10 minutes, covered, until the onions are very soft and have almost lost their shape. Add the garlic and stir through, frying for a further minute.

Add the risotto rice and fry for 5 minutes or so, until almost translucent. Turn up the heat and add the wine, simmering for a few minutes until the alcohol has evaporated and the liquid is absorbed. (Pause the recipe here if needed.)

Add the stock a little at a time as the rice absorbs it. Continue, stirring, until you have finished all the stock and the rice is tender.

Meanwhile, heat a little oil in a pan over a medium heat and fry the pancetta until crisp and golden. Set aside. Add the remaining butter to the risotto with the Parmesan and a generous pinch of salt and pepper and rest. Stir in the cooked and podded broad beans with the mint. Top with the crispy pancetta and pea shoots, drizzle with olive oil and serve.

Leftover Love: Deep-fried Risotto Balls



a little olive oil

400g baby spinach leaves, tough stalks removed,

    400g leftover risotto (baked lemon risotto works

      10g grated Parmesan cheese

      25g good quality mozzarella cheese, cut into

        sunflower oil, for frying

        75g plain flour

        2 medium free-range eggs, beaten

        50g day-old breadcrumbs or panko breadcrumbs

        Heat a little olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the spinach leaves in batches until fully wilted. Remove, drain and allow to cool before squeezing out all the excess liquid possible.

        In a large bowl, mix the leftover risotto with the cooked spinach and the Parmesan. Season generously.

        Roll 50g of the leftover risotto mix into a ball, then squash flat to make a 5cm circle in the palm of your hand. Place a cube of mozzarella in the centre of the circle, then mould the risotto around it into a bite-size ball, pressing and rubbing the risotto with your finger to weld the open seam. Lay the risotto balls on a plate or baking sheet and leave to chill and set in the fridge for 15 minutes.

        Meanwhile, heat a pan two-thirds full of sunflower oil over a medium high heat. Heat to 180 degrees (check this with a good digital thermometer) or until a 2.5cm cube of bread browns in 40 seconds.

        While the oil is rising in temperature, place the flour, eggs and breadcrumbs in separate bowls. Remove the risotto balls from the fridge, then coat each one in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs and set aside on a lined baking tray. Fry 4 at a time for 2-3 minutes, lifting them in and out carefully with a slotted spoon, then lay on a kitchen towel to drain the excess oil. Repeat until all the risotto balls are done, then serve sliced open and dunked into a leftover romesco or aioli.

        The Recipe Wheel is available to buy now.

        Follow Amelia on Twitter @ameliaephillips

        Pictures: Getty

        This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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