Tuesday, 7 October 2008


There are few meals I like more than a good Risotto, it's rich, creamy, comforting and altogether delicious. I find it amazing that a dish requiring so few ingredients can taste so good, of course once you've mastered the basic recipe it can be varied with any number of additions.

The most important part of a risotto is unsurprisingly the rice! It is very important that you use proper risotto rice, either Arborio, Carnaroli or Vialone Nano. You are most likely to come across Arborio, although if you are lucky enough to find one of the others you should snap it up!
Risotto rice differs from other rice as it is much shorter and fatter, the stubby little grains can absorb far more water that regular rice, they also contain a large amount of starch, which is what gives risotto it wonderful creaminess.

Last night I used the last of my oven dried tomatoes to make a tomato and basil risotto. The combination of tomato and basil is a classic that's always a winner, needless to say it was good, very good!
Perhaps not the most photogenic of foods, but it tasted good!

This is the basic recipe, once you've mastered this anything goes! To make my tomato risotto I added tomato purée, Italian herbs, fresh basil and oven dried tomatoes, I also added a yellow pepper which is why it is such a bright colour!
A particular favourite of mine is mushroom risotto, simply add fried mushrooms to the basic recipe, easy!

Basic risotto recipe

  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 3-4 sticks of celery finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • Butter and oil for frying
  • 300g risotto rice
  • Roughly 1-1/2 pints of hot stock (chicken or vegetable)
  • A glass of white wine
  • Parmesan
  • Butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • Put a large saucepan on the heat with a knob of butter and a splash of oil.
  • Toss in the vegetables and fry until softened.
  • Add all the rice to the pan and stir until every grain is coated in the butter and everything is well mixed.
  • Pour in the wine and stir until it has all been absorbed.
  • Keeping the stock hot begin to add it to the pan one ladle-full at a time, wait until all the liquid has been absorbed before adding more stock. Continue until the rice is cooked to your liking.
  • Finish by stirring in butter and grated parmesan, season well and serve.


Beth said...

I lov risotto but have never actually made a tomato one before - will bookmark this one

Foodycat said...

That looks so good! Great use for your dried tomatoes too.

Hopie said...

I love how versatile risotto is. One of my favorite recipes for risotto is one with pesto and artichoke hearts in it. You really can go in so many yummy directions. Tomato basil sounds perfect; there's a reason why it's a classic combo! I'll have to give it at try.

kittie said...

Like beth, I've never made a tomato risotto before - what a great way to finish those oven dried toms!


Joanna said...

What a good thing to use oven-dried toms with ...

mikky said...

from the looks of it, it sure is a winner... :)

Alex Rushmer said...

mmmmm, risotto. Looks fab. I've never put celery in though, I'll give it a go.

Karen said...

You've given me the incentive to try my hand at risotto! Looks yummy!

Cooking and the City said...

I've never made risotto, yours both looks and sounds so tasty :-)