Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Roasted Tomato Risotto

I was looking for a basic risotto recipe and found this one that uses roasted tomatoes which I love. Roasting the tomatoes always concentrates the taste for me, and it's very simple to prepare. Just drizzle them with some olive oil and salt, turn the oven to 250 degrees and roast them for about 45 minutes to one hour. You would be able to smell them when they are ready:)

I almost always use a 1/2 cup of white wine when cooking risotto. Add it before you start adding the chicken broth. To me it's a must. And instead of onions I used shallots. I like the onion garlic mixture taste instead of using garlic and onions separately.

The trick to risotto is to make sure that the broth you are adding has been boiled and simmering along. It has to be hot, otherwise you will end up with a strange rice dish:) And I use a soup ladle and add the broth one ladle at a time. Cooking the risotto seems to go along much faster when I do that. The broth evaporates faster and you have more control over when you think the rice is ready. To me it has to be al dente without being crunchy, so having this control works for me wonderfully.

I also add some shave Parmesan before serving. It makes the dish look nicer too. Enjoy:)


2 cups slow-roasted tomatoes, cut up in large chunks if necessary, with their juice
1 medium onion, 1/2 inch dice
1-1/2 C Arborio rice
6-8 threads saffron
4 T butter
4 C low sodium chicken broth
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 oz Parmigiano Reggiano, shredded
chopped fresh parsley or basil for garnish

Scoop the tomatoes into a sieve. Drain, pressing gently with a spoon, and reserve the juice.

Mix the chicken broth with the reserved tomato juice and set to warm on the stove. Place the rice, 2 tablespoons of the butter and the onion in your risotto pot over medium high heat and cook several minutes, stirring, until the rice starts to color.

Add two cups of the broth mixture and all the saffron. Adjust the heat to a high simmer and cook, stirring constantly and adding more liquid to keep the pot fairly soupy as the rice absorbs it, for 20 to 25 minutes. After the first 10 minutes add about 2/3 of the drained tomato chunks and half the garlic.

When the rice is nearly done (still firm but no longer chalky at the center) start letting the mixture get a little drier. Add the cheese and the remaining tomatoes, garlic, and butter. Correct the seasoning and serve immediately. Garnish with the chopped fresh herbs if desired.

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