Photograph: Karen Thomas
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 sticks of celery, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 200 g pearl barley
- 800 ml hot reduced-salt veg stock
- 2 x 390g cartons chopped tomatoes
- 0.5 tsp sugar
- 5 small sprigs of rosemary, leaves only, finely chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 25 g whole almonds
- 125 g ricotta
Heat the oil in a large heavy-based pan. Add the onion and celery; cook gently for 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
Stir in the barley; cook for 1 minute. Add 600ml of the stock, the tomatoes, sugar, rosemary and bay leaf; bring to the boil. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the rest of the stock and cook for 20-25 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a dry frying pan, add the almonds and shake over a low heat until toasted. Cool slightly, then chop.
Season the risotto and serve in bowls with the ricotta and toasted almonds.
Kitchen secret: barley contains beta-glucans, a soluble fibre that can help lower blood cholesterol levels. You need to eat 3g beta-glucans a day to benefit, and this recipe contains 2g per serving.