Serious Eats: Recipes

Dinner Tonight: Roasted Tomato Risotto with Fresh Mozzarella

As tomatoes disappear from the market, they start to get cheap. Last weekend I picked up four pounds of heirlooms for $4 and I immediately thought of an old recipe that's made an appearance in this column before: The River Cottage's roasted tomato sauce. It's a concentrated puree (roasted and strained) that's fantastic with pasta, but it's also the perfect balance to risotto's richness.

Good risotto depends on two things: the texture of the rice and a balance of flavor. Mushy texture is obviously a problem, but the more overlooked thing is that the richness should be balanced and not overwhelming. A sweet and tart tomato puree stirred in at the end, as in this recipe, turns out to be the perfect move. And while we're thinking tomatoes, why not think chunks of fresh mozzarella? Melted in at the end made for one of the most decadent risottos I've ever tasted.

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