Tomato and Basil Risotto and a Puppy


I know. It’s a puppy.

I can’t seem to take a decent photo of the risotto dish I want to share with you, so I’m posting a photo of a puppy. Everyone loves a puppy photo.

Don’t get me wrong, the risotto is quite good–flavorful, ooey-gooey, creamy.

It just isn’t pretty.

In my defense: Have you ever seen a pretty photograph of a dish of risotto? I didn’t think so.

♥ Intermission ♥

OK. Two hours have passed since I started writing this blog entry. I’ve breathed deeply. I’ve reorganized my camera case. I’ve felt guilty about the confidence my photography teacher has in me. I’ve had a glass of Malbec. Fortified, I’ve given the risotto photograph about a gazillion more tries. Color me persistent.

Here is a not altogether-bad photo of the risotto dish. Think fragrant deliciousness punctuated with the warm flavors of garlic and basil.

Beauty is so overrated.


Tomato and Basil Risotto
Save RecipeSave Recipe


  • 3 1/2 C. well-seasoned vegetable stock
  • 1-2 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 C. minced onion
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 garlic clove (minced)
  • 1/2 pound tomatoes (grated)
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 1/2 t. fresh thyme leaves
  • 3/4 C. uncooked Arborio rice
  • Salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste
  • 1/4 C. dry white or rose wine
  • 1/4 pound additional sweet ripe tomatoes (finely diced)
  • 1/4 C. slivered fresh basil
  • 1/4 to 1/2 C. freshly-grated Parmesan or Asagio cheese


  1. Heat stock to simmering.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large pan. Add onion and a pinch of salt and sauté for about five minutes until onion is tender. Add garlic and rice to the pan and stir. You want all the grains of rice to be separate. Cook until the rice begins to crackle.
  3. Add tomatoes, sugar, thyme and salt and cook (stirring often) until the tomatoes begin to cook down and start to coat the rice. This will take about five minutes.
  4. Add the wine. Stir and cook until wine evaporates.
  5. Add the simmering stock one-half cup at a time. Stir after each addition until the broth is almost absorbed. Then, add another half cup of stock. Your goal is for the rice to be cooked until it is just tender all the way through (al dente). This should take 20-25 minutes. Adjust seasoning.
  6. Add another half cup of stock. Stir in diced tomatoes, basil and Parmesan. Remove from heat.
  7. Your risotto should be creamy. If it is not, add more broth.
  8. Serve immediately garnished with additional grated Parmesan, basil leaves, and freshly-ground pepper.


My dish is adapted from this original recipe: Martha Rose Shulman’s Tomato and Basil Risotto

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