06 August 2006

Risotto w/ Tomatoes & Parmesan

Risotto w/ Tomatoes & Parmesan

In Patricia Wells’ Trattoria, this recipe is called Risotto alla Cardinale. My adaptation below is half the quantity of the original. The original called for homemade chicken stock. Where I use garden herbs, the original calls for two bay leaves. I use whatever herbs are available – parsley, fresh oregano, basil; in the fall, sage is very good. I also substitute cooking onions for shallots if I don’t have shallots in the kitchen.

2 cups vegetable broth or instant, ‘mock’ chicken broth
1 cup whole canned tomatoes, crushed
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (divided)
1 minced shallot
¼ cup fresh garden herbs, minced
1 cup Arborio rice
¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Combine broth and tomatoes in a saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer. In a sautĂ© pan, melt butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Cook shallots over medium heat until translucent, about 3 minutes, but don’t let them brown. Stir in the rice and cook for one minute until grains are coated and glistening.

Add a ladle of liquid (broth and tomatoes), stir constantly until liquid is absorbed by the rice. Continue to add liquid about ½ cup at a time, stirring until absorbed after each addition. When most of the liquid has been added to the rice, the grains will be tender but firm to the bite. This takes about 15 minutes.

Remove rice from heat. Stir in remaining tablespoon of oil, herbs, and cheese. Cover and let stand off the heat for about 2 minutes to allow flavors to blend; the rice will finish cooking. Add salt to taste. Serve.

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