- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup onion, peeled and chopped 1/4″ dice
- ¼ cup shallots, peeled and chopped 1/4″ dice
- 3 large fresh garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- ½ cup peeled tomato, fresh tomato, seeded 1/2 ” dice ( see note )
- ½ teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 cups aborio rice
- 5 cups home made chicken stock, or vegetable broth, or half water
- 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
- ½ cup white wine, such as Saugvignon Blanc
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup parmigiano reggiano, shaved, room temperature – divided in half
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, cleaned, dried, cut in half – multi colored
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, cleaned, dried, sliced thin – try green and purple basil
Set a medium heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat. Heat the stock in a pot until simmering, keep on low heat, set aside. Add the onion, shallots and garlic. Saute for about minutes until translucent, but not browned. Add the diced tomato, thyme and tomato paste. Stir until flavors blend, about 2 minutes. Add the rice, stir to coat, one minute. Add your first ladle of hot stock and the salt. Turn down the heat to a simmer so the rice doesn’t cook too quickly on the outside. Stir constantly. Keep adding ladlefuls of stock, stirring to extract the creamy starch out of the rice, allowing each ladleful to be absorbed before adding the next. Add the 1/2 cup of wine. Taste the rice to determine if it is cooked. The risotto should be slightly soft, but with a slight bite when done. 5 cups of stock (can be part water) is a guide. This will depend on the quality of your rice, and the temperature you cook at. May add more or less stock, so judge by tasting at the last additions of liquid, until the right texture is achieved. I like the risotto to be creamy, not too dry. Now swirl in the butter. Then the half of the parmesan.
Place the cut cherry tomatoes (preferably organic or locally grown) in a bowl with the sliced basils.
To serve: Ladle warm risotto into large bowls. Top with tomatoes and basil, then the rest of the shaved parmesan reggiano.
To peel a fresh tomato:
Boil water in a small pot. Cut out the blossom end of the tomato, cut an “X” on the bottom of the tomato. Drop the tomato in the water, after 2 minutes, the skin will loosen from the tomato. Take the tomato out of the water to cool. Peel the skin off, discard. Cut the tomato in half horizontally, and seed (discard seeds). Chop the tomato.
Can substitute a fruity olive oil for the butter, added at the end of the dish.