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Tomato Risotto – Northern Italian Style

Tomato Risotto – Northern Italian Style

Delicious and Creamy!! I’m using Three Tomatoes – Peeled Plum Tomatoes, Sun Dried Tomatoes and Fresh Sliced Cherry Tomatoes.

Tomato Risotto adds tomatoes in a few forms

Risotto is a traditional Northern Italian dish, and a common way to cook rice in Italy. It’s a creamy & tender mixture made from a starchy short or medium-grained rice.
Arborio is the most popular short-grain rice for making risotto. It is capable of absorbing large amounts of liquid and produces a relatively creamy risotto with a hearty texture.
Carnaroli is a plumper, larger grain of rice that has a high starch content. It is preferred by many chefs as it produces a very creamy risotto with a nice bite.

Fold in the sliced cherry tomatoes at the last step. I love how they will not cook, but warm through in the rice; adding natural sweetness.

Tomato Risotto – Northern Italian Style


3  ½ cups vegetable broth* (can use chicken broth)

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, preferably organic  – divided

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 

1 cup onion, ½” dice ½ cup 

5 medium cloves garlic, peeled; thinly sliced 

1 ¾ cups Carnaroli Rice or Arborio Rice

1 tablespoon tomato paste

2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, stemmed and chopped  

⅛ teaspoon freshly cracked pepper 

2 pinches cayenne pepper

14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes in juice – STRAIN; having 1 cup juice & ¾ cups of diced tomatoes

⅓ cup sun-dried tomatoes, coarse chop

½ cup dry white wine

½ cup parmesan reggiano, grated or shaved (room temperature)

½ cup colorful cherry tomatoes, sliced (to stir into the final risotto)

4 tablespoons fresh basil, cleaned; sliced or whole small leaves

sea salt to taste



Have broth ready, at a low simmer in a covered saucepan before beginning to make your risotto.
Heat 1 tablespoon butter and one tablespoon EVOO in a heavy 4 quart bottomed pot.
Add onion and sauté on low heat for three minutes until translucent.
Add the garlic and rice, and stir up well. Cook – stirring over low heat for three minutes.
Cooking the rice in hot butter and oil before adding liquid helps the rice to absorb the liquids slowly with becoming soggy.


Add tomato paste, rosemary, pepper, cayenne pepper, the reserved 3/4 cups of diced tomatoes and the sun-dried tomatoes. Stir well and cook over low heat to flavor all the ingredients – three minutes.
Add the 1/2 cup of wine to the pan – stir up immediately, and let the wine absorb the rice;
stirring continually.


Ladle one cup of broth and add to the pan – stir up immediately, and let the broth absorb the rice. When dry – now add the reserved 1 cup tomato juice; stir up immediately and let the juice absorb the rice, stirring continually.
Add one more cup of hot broth; continue in the same manner until absorbed.


Begin tasting the rice about 15 minutes after the first cup of broth is added.
Taste the rice – you will probably need the next 1/2 cup of broth. See if the rice is cooked through, yet still has a “bite.” Taste for salt – this will depend on the saltiness of your broth.
Add the final 2 tablespoons of butter and stir in until it melts. (This step is optional yet delicious.)


To Serve:

  • First add the basil – sliced or leaves to the warm risotto, stir in.
  • Then fold in the sliced cherry tomatoes. I love how they will not cook, but warm through in the rice.
  • Lastly, top with the parmesan cheese.
  • Eat while hot and enjoy!
  • To reheat – gently warm in a skillet, add a drop more broth if necessary.

In Italy, risotto is serve mounded, steaming hot, in the center of warmed individual shallow bowls.

*I have used “Better Than Bouillon” Organic Reduced Sodium Vegetable Base.

See BLOG for many photos and information.

This recipe may not be reproduced without the consent of its author, Karen Sheer.

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