Friday, 13 January 2012

Tomato Risotto

Making risotto is one of the more relaxing kitchen endeavours. Assemble your ingredients beforehand (mise en place), and pour yourself a glass of wine, and begin a leisurely hour of slowly stirring and tasting.

Sides should be simple; blanch yourself a bunch of broccoli rabe earlier on and you can quickly pop it into a hot pan with olive oil and garlic at the last minute. A little S+P, a little squeeze of lemon, and you are done. Now you have a sumptuous Italian dinner, just in time to refill your glass. Nobody will know how easy it all was. I won't tell. 

Tomato Risotto
adapted from Tessa Kiros, Apples for Jam
for I♥CC, Rice is Nice

4 Tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, chopped fine
4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
Good pinch chilli flakes
1 cup arborio rice
1¼ cup passata, or ground tomatoes
5 cups good vegetable broth
2/3 cup mozzarella, cut into ½-inch chunks
½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for top
Couple of basil leaves and a handful of Italian parsley, roughly chopped
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

  • Heat a heavy-bottomed saucepan to medium and add olive oil. 
  • Throw in onion and sauté, stirring often, for 4 minutes. 
  • Add chilli flakes and garlic and sauté for another minute. 
  • Add in rice and stir until each grain is coated and starting to toast - about a minute. 
  • Add in half the passata and a cup of the warm broth. 
  • Turn heat down to med-low, a low simmer, and stir often while the rice starts to absorb the liquid and you have a glass of wine. 
  • Add the rest of the passata and another cup of broth. 
  • Keep stirring, salt and pepper to taste.
  • Just keep along with your stirring, tasting, and adding broth until you have the texture and consistency that you like. 
  • Add in the cheeses, reserving a little Parm for presentation.
  • Stir in the herbs, do a final taste check, and serve with a dusting of Parm on top.

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