I am utterly in love with this dish. It’s comforting and luscious with the addition of the homemade ricotta (recipe here). It’s a “warm blanket” kind of meal…you want to eat it every day during the cooler months. But I also crave this dish during the summer months when the tomatoes are at their peak. Risotto is not just a winter dish anymore! Also, I have gotten in the habit of making a ton of it and using the leftover risotto the next day for the most incredibly unique lasagna rolls (recipe here!) Whether you make a huge batch, a small batch, during the winter or during the summer, this recipe is a keeper for year-round happiness and I hope you give it a try…
* For the homemade ricotta recipe, click here. You can also use store bought ricotta if the thought of making it scares you. I added one grated garlic clove, to my homemade ricotta.
* If you want leftover risotto for lasagna rolls, make the amount shown in this recipe. Otherwise, cut all the measurements in half.
You will need:
- 1 cup of ricotta (homemade or store bought…the homemade recipe will make about 1½-2 cups)
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 7 cups chicken stock (homemade if possible)
- ½ large yellow onion or 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 shallot and 1 clove garlic, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 6-8 large tomatoes (I had beautiful heirlooms to use, but you can use whatever kind you like, try to mix up the colors and size)
- 1 large bunch basil
- Red wine vinegar
- Olive oil
- Salt, pepper, red pepper flakes or Shake
- First, marinate your tomatoes by cutting them into chunks and putting them in a bowl with a dash of salt and pepper, a hefty drizzle of olive oil and a splash of red wine vinegar.
- In a large pot, bring your stock to a simmer, then turn down to low to keep warm.
- Add a few Tablespoons of olive oil to a large pan, sprinkle in some red pepper flakes or Shake.
- Over medium heat, sauté the celery, onion, shallot and garlic until softened.
- Pour your arborio rice in the pan and stir to coat the rice. Turn the heat down to low-medium for the remainder of the cooking.
- Add 1 ladle of the warm chicken stock to the risotto, stirring frequently until the stock has been fully absorbed by the rice. Continue adding 1 ladle of stock at a time and stirring until absorbed. It takes about 30-45 minutes, ladle after ladle until your rice will be done (so pour a big glass of wine and put on your favorite music because the wait is worth it!)
- With 1 cup of arborio rice, I used about 6-7 cups of stock plus the tomatoes and their juices. You want the rice to taste creamy and not al dente.
- When your risotto has reached the creamy point and won’t absorb any more liquid, it is time to dump in the marinated tomatoes, juice and all. Stir to combine and give it a taste. Keep the heat on low.
- Slice a bunch of your basil leaves and toss in. Give everything a stir.
- Scoop about ½ cup of your ricotta in and stir to combine. Add any extra salt at this point…..and….Serve and devour!