Let's Cook with Meg and Ted

Roasted Tomato and Basil Risotto

8 ripe tomatoes
salt and pepper
1 large bunch of basil, leaves plucked
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1.5 litres of vegetable stock
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
4 handfuls carnaroli rice
1/2 cup white wine
50 g butter
40 g freshly grated parmesan
parmesan shavings

Preheat the oven to 140C. Cut the tomatoes in half crosswise, and place them in a single layer, cut side up, in a baking dish. Season with salt and pepper. Put the basil leaves, garlic, and half the olive oil in a blender and process until smooth. Drizzle the basil oil over the tomatoes and roast in the preheated oven for an hour and a half. Leave until cool enough to handle, then peel them and roughly chop the flesh, keeping all the juices, and set aside. It's easiest to roast them in a glass or ceramic baking dish so you can do the peeling and chopping in the same dish and lose none of the baking juices.

Bring the stock to the boil in a saucepan, then reduce the heat to a simmer. In a separate saucepan, fry the onion over medium heat in the remaining half of the olive oil. Add the rice and cook gently until it is translucent (2-4 minutes). Add the white wine and stir until the wine is absorbed. Add a ladleful of the hot stock and cook, stirring, until it is absorbed. Add more stock, a little at a time, until the rice is 3/4 cooked (about 15 minutes). Add the roasted tomato mixture in two lots and continue stirring until the rice is tender and creamy, adding more stock if required. Stir in the butter and grated parmesan and serve at once, topped with the parmesan shavings.

Serves 3-4.

A recipe from the Palazzo Terranova in Umbria, printed in Vogue Entertaining and Travel, Autumn 2000.

June 2001

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