Risotto is good. It was one of the first things I learned to make well out of college. However, up until I found this recipe, I had never thought of just straight up taking tomatoes and using them as the base for the broth for the risotto. This recipe is now joining the mainstay recipes, especially in the summer, and hopefully as I start growing things on the balcony again. Good, fresh tomatoes grated down to make tomato pulp and juice, essentially, plus some good cheeses, makes an amazing tasting dinner. And if you can grow/pick up some good heirlooms, they also make it look gorgeous, if you want to go the aesthetic route. (The ones I used for this were German striped tomatoes, as the farmers market had a tomato tasting this morning and they were amaaaaaazing.)
If you have an Instant Pot/pressure cooker, click on the original recipe link for the pressure cooker version of this recipe. I do have one, but haven’t taken it out of the box yet, and am honestly mildly intimidated to do so. So, for now, I just stuck to the way I know best – stovetop method.
Fresh Tomato Risotto
Probably going to last four-ish meals judging on the amount of leftovers that went in the fridge
- About 3 lbs tomatoes (how many this comes to will depend on size – mine were 2 largish heirlooms)
- .25 c olive oil
- Half an onion, finely diced (original recommends 4 medium shallots, didn’t make a large difference I think)
- 2 c Arborio rice
- 1 c dry white wine at room temp (I used a dry Riesling I found at TJ’s for $5)
- 2 T unsalted butter
- 5 cloves garlic, peeled and grated (honestly I’m just using minced garlic rn)
- Large pinch sea salt (read Samin Nosrat this afternoon, learn what you like salt wise and go with it! This is just a recommendation!)
- Pinch fresh ground black pepper
- .5 c finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano (found this at TJ’s)
- .25 c marscapone cheese
Take a medium sized bowl and a box grater, and then take your tomatoes, and start grating the whole tomatoes using the largest holes of a box grater. When you grate the tomatoes, it will pretty much leave you with just tomato seeds, juice, and pulp in the bowl, and will leave the peels against the grate, which allows you to just discard them. Pics 1 and 2 give you an idea of what the process looks like, and pic 3 shows the finished product.
Heat your skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil, and as soon as it’s warmed, add the onion, cooking until softened and just barely browned at the edges (pic 4). Add the garlic and heat until it starts to smell good. Then, add the rice, mix well to coat with the olive oil, and cook until lightly toasted (it should smell like it’s toasting, too), which comes out to about 2-3 minutes, roughly (pic 5).
Then, add the cup of white wine, use it to deglaze the pan and make sure that nothing is sticking, and stir constantly as you bring it to a simmer, cooking until the wine has been almost completely absorbed, about 3 minutes. Then, slowly add your grated tomatoes about a half a cup at a time and stirring slowly and constantly, making sure that the liquid’s been almost completely absorbed by the rice before adding more. Pics 6 and 7 show what this process looks like. Do this until you’ve used all your tomatoes up – this should take about fifteen to twenty minutes. Taste the risotto and see how the rice is – it should be soft but still have a bit of a chewy edge (aka al dente). The broth should be creamy and thick, like a nice porridge. A neat way to tell if it’s done is that you should run your spatula through the risotto, and the rice should slowly fill the dry area back in, like a wave of water at the beach.
Then turn off the heat, and stir in the butter and Parmesan (see pic 8) until it’s nice and creamy, and add the marscapone in to finish, folding in until absorbed and creamy (pic 9). Let it sit for a few minutes after all the cheese is in it so that everything can combine.
And then, enjoy your amazing ass risotto, ideally with some bread if you’ve got some around.