Okay, everyone. The Olympics are over so we can all go back to regular life stuff.
I’ve got a packed week full of sitcoms, reality TV, Netflix marathons, anddddddd this Burst Tomato and Basil Risotto with Mascarpone (AND balsamic reduction). <– Had to sneak that deliciousness in there because it was too long for the post title.
I always feel so fancy when I make risotto. The husband and I are huge Gordon Ramsay fans, and since I hate scallops and am terrified of Beef Wellington, risotto is my go-to dish when I want to impress him. Him being the husband, not Chef Ramsay.
This risotto has some super awesome flavors and ingredients in it, such as:
- Burst tomatoes, which are basically itty bitty tomatoes that are dry-fried until they pop open;
- Arborio Rice, which is really the only rice you want to use if you’re serious about risotto;
- Basil, which is only disliked by people without souls;
- Mascarpone cheese, which is like a sophisticated Italian version of cream cheese; and,
- Balsamic reduction, which is way easier to make than it sounds.
Oh, and it’s also vegetarian. Long live Meatless Monday!
If this is going to be your first time making risotto, I feel that I should warn you: it requires quite a bit of babysitting. Risotto is cooked in a simmering broth very slowly over a 25-30 minute period. The cook (that’s your) ladles a small amount of broth into the risotto and cooks, stirring the ENTIRE time (which feels like an eternity) until the liquid is absorbed. Then, you add another ladle of broth, cook until it absorbs, then another, and then another, until all the broth is cooked into the risotto.
I like to bring a stool into the kitchen so I can sit while I’m making it. That’s right, you heard me. I’m so pathetic that I can’t handle standing in my kitchen for a whole 30 minutes to make dinner. I blame my bad arches.
I promise that it really isn’t as bad as it sounds. Pour yourself a glass of wine, pull up a stool, and get your wooden spoon ready.
Time to make Chef Ramsay proud.
Here’s Your Recipe!
10 minPrep Time
35 minCook Time
45 minTotal Time
- 3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 4 1/2 c. vegetable broth
- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 1/2 c. Arborio rice
- 1/3 c. dry white wine
- 1/4 c. half-and-half or whole milk
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1 c. grape tomatoes
- 1/4 c. chopped fresh basil
- 5 oz. fresh marscapone cheese
- Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat for several minutes. Once hot, add the grape tomatoes and saute, stirring constantly, until browned and burst. Set aside.
- Bring the vegetable broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan, but do not let it boil. Keep warm.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the rice and cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the wine to the pan, and stir constantly until liquid is nearly absorbed, about a minute. Stir in 1 cup broth; cook 5 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium. Add remaining broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of broth is absorbed before adding the next (about 25 minutes total).
- Meanwhile, place vinegar in a small, heavy saucepan; bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook until slightly syrupy and reduced to 1 tablespoon (about 4 minutes).
- Stir the half-and-half, salt, and pepper into the risotto; cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in burst tomatoes and basil. Place about 1 cup risotto into each of 6 shallow serving bowls. Add a spoonful or mascarpone and a drizzle of balsamic syrup to each. Serve hot..