I think by now I’ve shown how much I love risotto. After all, this is my third risotto recipe on this blog! However, this tomato risotto is pretty different from the others: you use crushed tomatoes to help give it a light tomato flavour! It isn’t too strong, but it’s rich enough that when you serve it with the grilled peppers, tomatoes and courgette, the flavour is beautiful! It’s so good that my taste testers enjoyed it even more than they expected – all 3 of them devoured it in seconds!
This tomato risotto is a smaller batch than my foolproof fresh herb risotto, which feeds 4-6 people. This one makes two very large portions, so if you’re feeding more people, you may want to double the recipe. However, you could definitely feed 3 with this recipe. Or, serve it with some protein (perhaps chicken parmesan?) and feed 4!
Now, if you’re in the UK, crushed tomatoes aren’t as common as in the US. However, they are sometimes sold as ‘passata rustica’ or rustic passata. I didn’t know that until now, so didn’t believe that they were sold here. Oh boy, I’ve been missing out – I see why American food bloggers use them as an ingredient so often! The tomatoes I bought already lightly seasoned with garlic and herbs. So, if yours aren’t, you may need a little extra of those ingredients.
While this recipe isn’t the most seasonal, it would be amazing in Summer made with fresh tomatoes out the garden! Plus, if you grow your own courgettes, you can use some of those up as well!
The crushed tomatoes in this recipe replace some of the stock used to cook the rice as they’re a liquid, which is an idea I cover more in my post about how to make a perfect risotto every time. That post is also useful if you’ve never made risotto before and want to make sure that you get it right – it can be a little intimidating, but it really is easier than you think!
The Vegetarian Debate
Technically, this recipe isn’t vegetarian as it requires parmesan, which is made with animal rennet. However, most vegetarians appear to either be unaware of this, use a vegetarian substitute, or eat parmesan anyway. Therefore, I mark recipes like this tomato risotto as vegetarian anyway. However, if you prefer to avoid these products, you can often buy ‘Italian-style hard cheese’ which is suitable for vegetarians.
The recipe is quick and easy, so it’s perfect to make as a weeknight dinner, or even a heavy lunch! Risottos actually only take around 20 minutes to make, not including prep time. They really aren’t as time consuming and fiddly as most people think!
Or, make a large batch in the summer and grill the veggies on the barbecue – it would make a pretty good dinner for eating outside in the evenings!
In fact, I’m working on a post all about risotto and how to achieve a perfect, creamy texture. So, subscribe here if you’d like to be notified when I post it! You’ll also receive a free risotto ebook that I’m working on as soon as it’s ready! You can also follow me on facebook,
- 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 1/2 yellow pepper, strips
- 1/2 red pepper, strips
- 1/2 courgette, semi-circles
- 150 grams (2/3 cup) arborio rice
- 350 ml (scant 1 1/2 cup) crushed tomatoes, "passata rustica"
- 10 baby plum tomatoes
- 200 ml (3/4 cup) vegetable stock, or chicken stock
- 60 grams (1/2 cup) parmesan, grated
- 2 sprigs basil, chopped
- salt and pepper, to season
- Preheat the grill to high if needed. In a small pan, heat the stock over low heat to warm it through.
- In a large saucepan, melt 1/2 the butter with 1/2 tbsp olive oil over low heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté gently for 3 minutes to soften.
- Brush the courgette with olive oil and begin to grill the peppers and courgette. Add the arborio rice to the saucepan with the butter and stir to coat. Toast for 1 minute, then add the crushed tomatoes. Bring to simmer, stirring gently regularly.
- Add the tomatoes to the grill and turn the other veggies if necessary to ensure even cooking. Once most of the liquid from the crushed tomatoes has been absorbed, begin to add the stock in stages, simmering and stirring gently. Only add more stock once almost all of it has been absorbed.
- When the rice is cooked and all the stock has been absorbed, remove from heat. The veggies should be charred and can be removed from the grill.
- Stir the rest of the butter and the parmesan into the risotto gently, then add the basil and season, stirring gently. Serve with the vegetables.
The Parmesan - parmiagano reggiano or grana padano can be used instead, although the amount needed may differ slightly.
Leftovers - the veggies will not reheat well, but risotto can be cooled at room temperature then reheated according to food safety guidelines on reheating rice.
The rice - other types of risotto rice can be used instead, but do not use regular rice or it will not have the same texture.
Nutrition InformationYield 2 Serving Size 1/2 batch
Amount Per Serving Calories 668Total Fat 39gSaturated Fat 18gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 18gCholesterol 75mgSodium 1633mgCarbohydrates 64gFiber 9gSugar 22gProtein 22g
All nutrition values are an estimate and may vary.
If you’re looking for more risotto-style recipes for two, try my asparagus, lemon and spinach orzo risotto. It’s also quick and easy, vegetarian and creamy!
Or, try my chargrilled veggie and halloumi wraps. They use similar veggies and halloumi to create a simple vegetarian lunch for two!
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