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Okay now on to the recipe. Risotto is one of my all-time favorite recipes. Its filling, easy and always has a bit of a “wow” factor. I think thats because most people never make it at home, or if they do its one of those box mixes from Whole Foods. Its almost always a restaurant dish to people. It intimidates them like crazy. Well not me. I have three other risotto recipes in my archives and love every single one. I think risotto is acutally easier than a lot of other dishes, and so versatile. You can add basically any vegetable, any meat, any seafood. Its a wonder-dish!
But here’s a new one for me: Tomato risotto with parmesan & fresh basil. Delicious sounding, even better tasting. Thanks to Last Night’s Dinner for the recipe. I changed it a bit to suit me, but the recipe is her’s. Mangia!
TOMATO RISOTTO WITH PARMESAN & FRESH BASIL
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons EVOO (I just really wanted to write that- I hope you all know that means extra virgin olive oil)
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 cups Arborio rice
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 cup GOOD QUALITY pasta sauce
- 4-5 cups chicken broth
- about 6 large basil leaves, chopped (less if you like less basil, more if you’re a basil fanatic)
- Kosher salt
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Melt butter into olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. Meanwhile, heat the broth in a saucepan of its own until its hot, but not bubbling. Add onion and a pinch of salt to butter and olive oil and cook a few minutes until softened. Add the rice and stir well to coat with the butter/olive oil mixture. Allow to cook a few minutes more until the rice begins to become translucent. Add wine and continue to stir, allowing most of the liquid to absorb. Stir in pasta sauce and half of the chicken broth and again allow to cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
- Continue adding the remaining broth a cup or so at a time, stirring fairly continuously, and allow the liquid to cook into the risotto. What you want is for the risotto to be creamy and the texture of the grains of rice to be firm but not crunchy or hard. Taste frequently as the rice cooks so you can test the texture of the rice, and also add more salt as needed. You may not need all the broth, but if you happen to need more liquid you can add a cup or two of water.
- Once the risotto is creamy and al dente, yet not mushy, turn off the heat and gently stir in the basil. Add a bit of freshly grated Parmagiano Reggiano and stir that in immediately before serving.
I like to serve my risotto in a bowl with a slice of chunky artisan bread, like an olive oil ciabatta. Like the original recipe, a fantastic addition to this would be big fat hunks of fresh mozzarella, stirred in while its still hot. And people- there is nothing, NOTHING, like using fresh basil. I clipped some off of my basil plant for this, if you don’t have a basil plant of your own then go buy some fresh basil. Basil, basil, basil!
I made this for dinner and then made some spiced sugar bomboloni for dessert. Awesomely awesome.
Also, I never use metal spoons to stir anything I make that has tomatoes or tomato sauce. My mother told me years ago that the metal can react with the acid in tomatoes and make a not so nice result. Always use wooden or silicone. And NEVER leave a metal serving spoon sitting in a hot pot of sauce you want to continue eating from. Just a little tip from me to you.