Tomato pasta is a regular and speedy family supper, but when you’re getting bored of it, tomato risotto can be a welcome relief. Great risotto is made when the rice is cooked with enough friction. This requires constant stirring with a wooden spoon for the grains to release their starch and make a creamy rich risotto.
Toasting the rice in the softened buttery onion before you add the wine (optional) and the stock is essential. Improving the flavour this method will also ‘lock’ the starch into the grain and ensure it is released gradually throughout the cooking process. After all that stirring, rest your risotto for ultimate ooze.
Prep time: 10 minutes | Cooking time: 35 minutes
- 2 litres well flavoured chicken or vegetable stock – hot when you begin making the risotto
- 1 ttbsp butter
- 1 large onion, chopped a finely as possible
- 3 garlic gloves, peeled and chopped finely
- 600g tinned peeled plum tomatoes, drained well and chopped
- 400g risotto rice (Arborio, Carnaroli or best of all, Vialone Nano)
- 1 glass of white wine (you can just use stock from the off if you like)
- Salt and pepper
- 75g grated Parmesan
- 50g butter
- Small bunch of basil, marjoram or parsley, leaves picked and roughly chopped
- To begin your risotto, over a moderate heat gently sweat the onion and garlic in 1 tbsp of butter. When softened add the tomato and cook for about 3 minutes to concentrate the flavour.
- When ready to make the risotto, turn up the heat and add the rice. Mix for a minute or so, until the outside of a grain of rice turns translucent and the all the rice is heated through.
- Add the white wine if using (you should almost hear your pan give a loud exhale) and mix thoroughly until the liquid has evaporated.
- Adding the stock, ladleful by ladleful, ensure each measure of liquid has evaporated before you add the next. Stir the pan continuously. This will help in making a creamier risotto and ensure that the rice cooks evenly.
- Tasting grains of rice throughout the cooking time, your risotto should be ready in 16 – 18 minutes. You want the rice to be al dente – the rice will continue to soften as the risotto rests. Off the heat, let the risotto sit in the pan with a lid on for 5 minutes.
- Vigorously beat in the other 50g of butter, the Parmesan, and finally stir through the chopped herbs.
- Check for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as needed.
- Serve in wide bowls or plates and scatter each dish with extra Parmesan. For perfect consistency, your risotto should almost, but not quite, want to move from the one side of the bowl or plate to the other.