Tomato-Basil Risotto – Summer in a Bowl Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (like Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 5-6 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth, warmed
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions:

  • Prep work: Warm the broth in a saucepan over low heat. Chop the onion, mince the garlic, seed and chop the tomatoes, and roughly chop the basil.
  • Sauté the Aromatics: Heat the olive oil and butter in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, until fragrant.
  • Toast the Rice: Add the Arborio rice to the pot and stir continuously for about 2 minutes, until the grains are lightly toasted and translucent at the edges.
  • Deglaze with Wine: Pour in the white wine and cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid is mostly absorbed.
  • Gradually Add Broth: Add the warm broth to the pot one ladleful at a time, stirring constantly. Wait until each ladleful is almost completely absorbed before adding the next. This process should take about 20-25 minutes.
  • The Magic of Tomatoes: When the rice is almost tender, stir in the chopped tomatoes. Continue adding broth and stirring until the rice is creamy and al dente (cooked through but with a slight bite).
  • Finish with Basil and Parmesan: Remove the pot from the heat. Stir in the basil and Parmesan cheese. Season generously with salt and pepper.
  • Serve and Enjoy: Let the risotto rest for a few minutes to thicken slightly. Serve immediately with additional Parmesan cheese for garnish if desired.

Tips:

  • Broth is key: Use good quality broth. Homemade is always best, but a store-bought low-sodium option is also good.
  • Stir, stir, stir: Consistent stirring is crucial for developing the creamy texture of risotto.
  • Don’t rush: Add the broth gradually and allow it to fully absorb. This allows the rice to release its starches for the perfect consistency.
  • Freshness matters: Ripe tomatoes and fresh basil will make a world of difference in taste.

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