Time: 1 hour
  Difficulty: moderate
  Serves: 6


  • 150 g onion, finely chopped (divided into two parts)

  • extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 carrot, chopped

  • 400 ml red wine or stock as desired (or instead, use water mixed with a stock cube)

  • 300 g canned borlotti beans, drained

  • 4 heaped tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1 bay leaf

  • flour

  • olive oil

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 400 g risotto rice (either arborio or carnaroli)

  • spoonful or two butter

  • 1 litre hot stock (or water mixed with a stock cube)

  • 60 g Parmesan cheese, grated


Lightly sauté half the onion with the carrot in extra virgin olive oil until softened; add the beans, sprinkle with flour and stir together over the heat; cook five or so minutes like this, letting the flour cook and lightly toast. Add the wine or stock, stir in, add the tomato paste, bay leaf, season with salt and pepper, and leave to cook uncovered, for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, make the risotto: lightly sauté the rest of the onion in a large, deep frying pan until it is just golden, then add the rice and butter, stirring to mix well and coat the rice grains.

Slowly add the hot stock, starting with about 250 ml, stirring as it cooks and absorbs the liquid. When it is all absorbed, add more stock, and continue, until almost all the liquid is absorbed. Stir in the Parmesan cheese.

Spoon the risotto evenly in 6 buttered creme caramel moulds (with a disc of baking paper at the bottom of each, to keep the bottom from sticking when turned over). Place the moulds in a baking pan with hot water to the depth of about half way up the sides. Bake at 180°C in a preheated oven for about 20 minutes.

Pour the bean sauce onto a serving dish, keeping a little aside for spooning over the top of the timbales.