Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Tomato & Basil Risotto

This is one of the first meals Sathya ever cooked for me. I was blown away that anyone in my (then) age group could cook something so yummy! The next time Sathya cooked it, I sat at her kitchen table and eagerly wrote down every step she did! When the first opportunity arose for me to cook it I remember being so nervous! I had never cooked a 'meal' in my life! (besides toasties and 2 minute noodles).

I had all the ingredients cut up, prepped, measured and ready to go as I was so scared I would make a mistake and ruin it! But I didn't ruin it! It was perfect! In fact, its turned out perfect every time I've made it. Its become an old faithful that I love and crave. It's so simple I can do it with my eyes closed. I don't even have the original recipe anymore, I just measure approximately as I remember...

2 tins chopped tomatoes
1 bunch basil
3 tbsp Olive oil
Salt & Pepper
50g butter
3/4 cup water
1 1/4 cup Arborio Rice
1 Red onion
2 tablespoons Tomato Paste
75ml red wine
100g parmesan, grated
175g bacon, chopped

Blend tomatoes, basil, olive oil & salt and pepper in a food processor (not essential if you dont have one (if this is the case, just chop the basil finely and mix with tomatoes, oil and S&P).

In a saucepan melt the butter and add the chopped red onion. Fry the onion on low heat for 7 minutes until it is transparent. Add the rice and stir. Let it sit, stirring occasionally for a few minutes. Add wine and tomato paste and cook off until alcohol smell disappears.

Pour into the pot the tomato & basil mixture and stir. Bring it to a simmer and leave for around 5 minutes. Add the water. Place lid on pot and put in 180 degree oven for a good 40 mins. Stir once or twice.

Remove from oven and add the parmesan and stir it through. Return to the oven for another 15 mins. Meanwhile, fry the bacon off until crispy.

Serve in a bowl with crispy bacon over top, more parmesan and some basil leaves.


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