Summer Risotto with tomato, zucchini and basil

By Leanne De Bortoli
Feature recipe for January 2014

Seves 4
  • 5 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 celery stalk, finely diced
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • ¾ cup white wine
  • 2 zucchini, cut into small chunks
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 tbsp basil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • freshly grated Parmigiano

Pour stock into a small pot, bring to boil on stove and leave it to simmer gently.Meanwhile, pour boiling water into a bowl and add the tomatoes for 10-15 seconds. Remove tomatoes, peel off skins, cut in half and squeeze out seeds and excess water. Cut into small chunks and set aside. Melt butter and oil in a heavy-bottomed pot, add onion and celery and cook over low heat. Stir until softened being careful not to burn.

Add rice and stir until well coated and appears “polished”. Add white wine and allow to bubble whilst stirring continuously for a minute or so. Add ½ cup of hot stock and stir until absorbed by rice. Repeat this process one ladle full at a time until all the stock is added, stirring gently as you go. After about 10 minutes, add zucchini and tomato paste and stir through.

After 15-20 minutes, when rice is almost tender and has absorbed all of the stock, add the fresh tomato and basil and cook for another couple of minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and stir in 2-3 tbsp of Parmigiano. Adding a dollop of butter at this point will lift the flavour. Cover with lid and leave for a couple of minutes before serving. Serve risotto topped with torn basil and Parmigiano. For extra flavour you could also top with some pesto.

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