Risotto al Pomodoro

Risotto al Pomodoro

When I discovered much to my dismay a couple of years ago that I had an intolerance to dairy, my heart sank. What about my beloved cheese and cream? If you knew me and knew how much cheese I used to eat – you’d totally understand.

So, what was a lactose intolerant girl to do with a Swiss Italian boyfriend who loved risotto?

Dairy. Free. Risotto.

And it’s so good. Actually (and I hate to blow my own trumpet), it’s so good in fact that said risotto loving boyfriend rather enjoys trying to pass this recipe off as his own creation.

I dedicate this dish to my good friend Narineh. I love you and your allergic to dairy ways.

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large clove of garlic, finely chopped and crushed with salt
  • 2 large fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 300g carnaroli risotto rice (this type of risotto rice produces a creamier texture)
  • 100ml dry white wine
  • 300g chopped tomatoes
  • 600ml chicken stock
  • 2-3 teaspoons caster sugar
  • Bunch of fresh oregano
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Method:

On a medium heat, heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and sweat for around 5-7 minutes before adding the fresh tomatoes. At this stage season with a little salt and pepper and cook gently for a couple of minutes.

Next add the rice, stirring well so it can absorb all that goodness that’s already in the pan, and once it becomes slightly translucent pour in the white wine. Enjoy the sizzle and gorgeous smell, then cook down stirring often until the wine has reduced.

Instead of only using stock like a normal risotto, in this recipe I alternated between adding stock and the chopped tomatoes to the rice. So, once the wine has reduced ladle in some of the stock, stirring frequently until the majority of the stock has been absorbed, then throw in a couple of tablespoons of the chopped tomatoes and cook down before repeating the process.

You’ll need to continue to do this until you have used all of the stock and chopped tomatoes, whilst at the same time continuing to stir almost continuously and vigorously. The end result should be smooth and creamy (believe it or not!) with just a slight bite to the rice.

Season with a little salt and pepper to taste and a couple of teaspoons of sugar to balance out the acidity of the tomatoes. Throw in some of that godly oregano, reserving a little for garnish.

Buon appetito!

Serves 4-6 depending on who’s eating.

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