Tomato Risotto – mozzarella

Last weekend, I decided to look at working on another variation of my Basic Risotto Recipe to include a more tomato-based sauce.

The recipe still packs in copious amount of Parmesan cheese & butter, but this time the addition of a tomato passata and a little red wine helps to produce a rich, fruity and silky sauce.

I was hoping to come up with a beer pairing for this recipe, but tomato-based sauces are notoriously difficult to pair with.
So instead, here is another simple recipe with guidelines for how to make the most of a tomato base risotto.

  • 25g butter
  • 1/2 Onion (Finely Chopped)
  • 2 cloves of Garlic
  • 250g Arborio Rice
  • 125ml Red Wine
  • 300g Tomato passata
  • 1.25l of Chicken\Vegetable Stock (Brought to a gentle simmer in a separate pan)
  • 50g Butter (Cubed)
  • 50g Parmesan Cheese (Grated)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 125g ball of Mozzarella (finely Sliced)
  1. Place the 25g of butter into a pan and allow it to melt on a medium heat.
    Once suitably melted, add the onion and crushed garlic then allow them to cook through until everything has softened but not browned.
  2. Pour in the Rice and allow it to take on some of the butter as well as the heat from the pan. Lightly toasting the rice without adding the colour – About 2 Minutes will be fine here.
  3. Pour in the red wine, stir and once reduced by half, you can add two ladles of your chosen stock followed by the passata – Mix in well.
  4. Once the liquid has been absorbed and becomes richer, add another ladle of stock and keep going until the rice has plumped up, tripling in volume.
  5. When the rice is nice and soft with just a touch of bite or resistance on the teeth, add the 50g of butter and the 50g of Parmesan cheese then mix will. Allow everything to combine well and create a rich glossy sauce.
  6. Let this sit for around 5 to 10 minutes so that things cool down and settle, before topping with the sliced mozzarella and enjoying with a touch of garlic bread.

Any other pointers?

Letting the Risotto sit for 5 minutes helps to reduce the temperature which can be blisteringly hot and do some serious damage to your cheeks and tongue.
I mean, you want to be able to taste the food right?

The finished risotto should be loose enough that it spreads in a wave formation when scooped into a bowl or on a plate, rather than creating a thick mound of rice.
You could add a touch more stock to loosen things up if all else fails

In order to test the rice, I occasionally pick out an individual grain and bite it between my front teeth to test its resistance.
You want it to have some texture without being too chalky in the middle.
Just test before each ladle full of stock so that you don’t risk having to cook the stock out and overcooking the rice.

The tomato variation is so versatile in terms of additions you could top the finished risotto with.
We added a few slices of mozzarella, but you add some chunks of cooked chorizo, a few pan fried prawns or keep it simple with a few finely chopped basil leaves.

 

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