Ah rice pudding; another dessert that I fell in love with last year while pregnant. It fits the ‘cold and creamy’ bill exactly, if served cold. But I’d never made it from scratch before now, and I don’t know why because it is very simple to make and infinitely less expensive!
I wanted to create a recipe that even a lazy cook would want to attempt. Whenever we cook rice to accompany our dinner, we always use our rice cooker. It gives me a sense of accomplishment to ‘put some rice on’. No need to tend to it after that, it is done and will be waiting for us when we are ready!
So I decided that wouldn’t it be cool to ‘put some apricot rice pudding on’ and have dessert smashed before I even began dinner? This recipe is definitely for people who want a luxurious dessert, but only have a few moments to put something together. It is also great for an easy dessert when entertaining too, because it is so easy to scale up or down, whatever the occasion.
The apricots become jammy and the whole thing is so creamy and filling. It can be eaten warm, straight out for the rice cooker after dinner, or can be chilled and eaten cold, which is my favourite. What is your favourite way to eat rice pudding?
Rice cooker apricot rice pudding
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 3 cups milk
- ½ cup caster sugar
- ½ cup diced dried apricots
- Pinch of cinnamon
- Greek yoghurt or cream, to serve
- Place rice, milk, sugar, apricots and cinnamon in rice cooker and stir. Cook the rice in the cooker.
- Once finished, stir through yoghurt or cream to add creaminess. This is equally delicious warm or cold.
My go-to cookbook is the amazing The Cook’s Companion by Stephanie Alexander. Whenever I’m not sure what to do with a vegetable, particularly if I have a lot of something, I refer to the chapter in Stephanie’s book and pick out an always-delicious recipe. The other week we had a lot of zucchinis delivered in our vegetable box and I did just that.
This recipe is inspired by Stephanie Alexander’s Slow-cooked Zucchini. I love the idea of cooking zucchini for a long time to create a glossy and unctuous texture. It makes this simple ingredient so luxurious.
I decided to turn the zucchini into a creamy pasta bake, because how can you go wrong with a creamy pasta bake?
This is a great comfort food dish. I happened to make this dish on a night when bedtime for the little one was particularly trying, and dinner was eaten tag-team between my husband and I. This is the perfect dish for solo eating. Decadent, rich and luscious. Enjoy!
Creamy slow-cooked zucchini pasta bake
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 4-5 zucchinis, cut into 2cm chunks
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp chilli flakes
- 2 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
- 250g fusilli
- 20g parmesan, plus extra
- 200g crème fraîche
- 30g butter, melted
- 50g breadcrumbs
- Heat oil in a medium saucepan over a moderate heat and add zucchini and garlic. Lower heat and cover. Cook for 20 mins, stirring frequently until the zucchini has become squidgy and will mash easily.
- Mix the breadcrumbs with melted butter. Season with salt and pepper.
- Mash the zucchini with a fork or potato masher, and add the lemon juice, chilli flakes and anchovy fillets. Season with salt and pepper.
- Preheat the oven at 180° Celsius.
- Cook pasta according to packet instructions, reserving 1 cup of cooking liquid.
- Add ½-1 cup of pasta water to the zucchini mixture to loosen, along with the crème fraîche and parmesan. Add cooked pasta and stir.
- Put pasta mixture into a roasting tray and top with breadcrumb mixture. Grate an extra layer of parmesan over the top of the breadcrumbs.
- Cook in the oven at 180° Celsius for 15-20 mins until golden and crunchy.