Tomato Basil Risotto

August 23, 2010

Creamy, flavorful risotto takes a bit of work but it’s worth it, especially if you can get someone else to do the stirring.  My kids groan when I start risotto but they never complain once it’s on their plates!

This simple tomato and basil version can be used as a starting point for whatever you’d like to add. It makes a lot but I do that on purpose because it’s great leftover.

  • Arborio Rice, 2 1/2 cups
  • Olive Oil, 1/4 cup or so
  • Garlic, 4 or 5 cloves
  • White Wine, about a cup
  • Chicken Stock or Broth, 7 to 8 cups
  • Roma Tomatoes, 7 or 8
  • Basil, a handful of fresh leaves or dry equivalent

Mince the garlic and chop the tomatoes into eighths. While you’re chopping and mincing, bring the chicken stock to a simmer and keep it warm.

Heat the olive oil, just enough to generously cover the bottom of a large pot, over medium heat.  Add the garlic.

And then the rice.

Stir until the rice is well-coated with olive oil and it begins to turn a brighter white.

Add the wine and continue stirring until the wine is mostly absorbed.

Add enough chicken stock to generously cover the rice mixture and continue cooking and stirring over medium to medium-low heat.

When enough liquid is absorbed that the spoon leaves a trail in the bottom, add more broth.  Continue cooking and stirring.

When about half the stock is done, add the tomatoes and continue cooking and stirring.  Add more stock, cook and stir and repeat.

When it’s nearly done and you’ve added the last bit of stock, tear in a handful of fresh basil leaves.

Continue until the stock is gone and the rice is tender.

Garnish with fresh basil and serve, with fresh Parmesan if you like.  Enjoy!

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Amy from She Wears Many Hats August 23, 2010 at 11:51 am

I so wish you were my neighbor. I’d wash your car for some of this. Yum!


2 Karen Bove August 23, 2010 at 12:04 pm

I’d glady whip up a batch of this (or anything else) for anyone willing to wash my filthy car!


3 Friday Delights August 23, 2010 at 5:31 pm

I can’t stop drooling over here. Man, this look tasty, Yum!


4 beth August 23, 2010 at 5:51 pm

I’ll go grocery shopping for you or do your laundry if you make me some.


5 Mary at Deep South Dish August 23, 2010 at 7:21 pm

Looks wonderful Karen! And now I want a glass of wine too. :)


6 Karen Bove August 23, 2010 at 7:54 pm

As long as you’re opening a bottle for the risotto, you might as well pour yourself a big glass to sip while you’re standing there stirring!


7 Lindsey @ Sunshine and Jellybeans August 24, 2010 at 11:25 am

I can’t believe I’ve never thought of this before. Tomatoes + basil and Risotto are on the list of my favorite things in the history of the world. You are a genius. I can’t wait to try this with home grown tomatoes and basil. Thank you thank you thank you!


8 Karen Bove August 24, 2010 at 11:42 am

You’re welcome! No genius here though, I just love an easy, classic tomato and basil combo in just about anything.


9 Katie@Cozydelicious August 24, 2010 at 9:35 pm

Yum! I love risotto and haven;t made it in forever – you are making my mouth water! I have to make this right away!


10 A'ishah August 24, 2010 at 10:19 pm

Hi! I just started reading your blog recently and have really enjoyed the recipes :)

This looks awesome. I have never made risotto at home before but have always wanted to try…and you make it look so easy.

I was wondering, though – if I wanted to make it without wine, what would you suggest to sub for white wine?



11 Karen Bove August 24, 2010 at 10:22 pm

I’ve been (horrors!) out of wine and just left if out. It turns out just fine.


12 Maureen August 25, 2010 at 12:31 pm

I woke up on this rainy NYC morning and knew risotto would be the perfect dinner for such a dreary, cold day. You’ve read my mind yet again! Thanks for the great go-to recipes.


13 cca August 31, 2010 at 7:07 pm

I havent been brave enough to attempt risotto yet. this looks amazing and your photography is great!


14 Karen Bove August 31, 2010 at 8:04 pm

Go ahead and give it a try. It’s not terribly difficult, just a little time-consuming with all that stirring.


15 serena January 23, 2011 at 5:11 pm

just a quick question, about how many does this recipe serve?


16 Karen Bove January 23, 2011 at 5:39 pm

A lot? I’m terrible at guessing about these things but my general-but-probably-not-accurate-rule-of-thumb for rice is 1 cup uncooked will end up being about 2 cups once it’s done.

It’s easy to change this recipe to make more or less.


17 blinky bill May 4, 2011 at 7:37 am

in place of chicken stock/broth i have used a powdered chicken stock, but now my risotto is so powdery because i used a few containers to cover the rice.
what should i do?


18 Karen Bove May 4, 2011 at 9:43 am

I use a bouillon paste so using a powdered bouillon should be the same thing, just dissolve it into a big pot of “stock” before using it?


19 Tabatha Conrady June 3, 2011 at 7:08 pm

Delicious. I didn’t have fresh tomatoes but I did have fresh basil.


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