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Quick family risotto with mozzarella, sun-blushed tomato & basil

  • Easy

This delicious classic rice dish from Italy is given a fresh update top appeal to younger tastes - and they will love it!

Quick family risotto with mozzarella, sun-blushed tomato & basil

When you need a good meal on the table you cannot go wrong with a classic risotto. It may seem time consuming but that idle stirring is a great after-work/school pick-up stress reliever that by the time its ready you can face the evening once more. Plus, when you dip your fork into this risotto, you will come across pockets of melting mozzarella mixed with the summery tomato topping and you will be smitten.

TIP: Try to use the best mozzarella di bufala – it has a fresh, lactic bite which is best well-suited to this recipe (and can transform this from a family supper to an elegant dinner for two!)

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Ingredients

  • hot vegetable stock or chicken stock 1.5 litres
  • Unsalted butter 125g
  • onion 1, finely chopped
  • risotto rice 400g
  • dry white wine 150ml
  • mozzarella cut into 1cm (1⁄2in) cubes 250g
  • chopped fresh basil 4 tbsp
  • sun-blushed tomatoes 300g
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • extra basil leaves and freshly grated parmesan to serve

Method

  • Step 1

    Put the stock in a saucepan and keep at a gentle simmer. Melt half the butter in a large, heavy saucepan and add the onion. Cook gently for 10 minutes until soft, golden and translucent but not browned. Add the rice and stir until well coated with the butter and heated through. Pour in the wine and boil hard until it has reduced and almost disappeared. This will remove the taste of raw alcohol.

  • Step 2

    Begin adding the stock, a large ladleful at a time, stirring gently until each ladle has almost been absorbed by the rice. The risotto should be kept at a bare simmer throughout cooking, so don’t let the rice dry out – add more stock as necessary. Continue until the rice is tender and creamy, but the grains still firm. (This should take 15–20 minutes depending on the type of rice used.)

  • Step 3

    Taste and season well with salt and pepper and beat in the remaining butter. You may like to add a little more hot stock at this stage to loosen the risotto. Fold in the cubed mozzarella and chopped basil. Cover and let rest for a couple of minutes so the risotto can relax and the cheese melt.

  • Step 4

    Carefully ladle into warm bowls and put a pile of tomatoes in the centre of each one. Top with basil leaves and serve immediately with freshly grated Parmesan.

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