Recipe post: Tomato and Rosemary Risotto with toasted almonds
Today’s recipe is a rich and lovely Tomato Risotto. In my last post I was looking at the lovely Spaghetti Carbonara which Adam cooked for Hana and I when we went to visit him a couple of weeks ago now (yikes, I’m behind!). I talked a bit about the lovely meal he cooked for us but I didn’t talk much about Adam moving out. Back in June I talked about loosing my gran, who had raised Adam and myself since childhood. Adam still lived with her and so for him it was a much bigger shock, not just losing her but having to move out of his childhood home in a very short space of time.
It was a big move and shock for him to have to start searching around for a place to move to and with me living in London there was only so much I could do to help (aside from looking at listings, calling agents and that sort of thing). But after a few of months he moved in in mid September and by early October was nicely settled into what isn’t just a really lovely house but also a good home too. I know it relaxed him a lot to be stable and renting a place. For me, I could breath again after holding my breath for three months half expecting him to be moving in with Hana and me in London.
It ended what had been a pretty rough time for both of us on the day we finished clearing out the house, moved Adam out and handed over the keys. It was both an end and a new beginning. Seeing him moved in meant things really were moving on.
Tomato and Rosemary Risotto
So on to something totally unrelated, the Tomato and Rosemary Risotto I cooked up the other week, not sure if that was last week or the week before! I made this risotto recipe using a pack of mixed risotto rice A risotto is relatively simple to cook but takes a lot of attention and constant stirring to make sure it doesn’t stick and has enough liquid so in that sense it does wed you to the kitchen stove for an hour or so. I usually take my iPad in with me so I have something to keep me amused whilst it slowly reduces and cooks down.
Ingredients for 2 – 3 portions
1tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 sticks of celery, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
200g – 300g 3 grain rice (barley, spelt and Italian rice)
800ml – 1ltr low sodium vegetable stock
dash of balsamic vinegar to taste.
2 cans of chopped tomatoes
3tsp dried rosemary
50 whole almonds
½ a small tub of low fat cream cheese (Philadelphia)
Tomato and Rosemary Risotto Recipe:
- You’ll need a big and shallow pan to cook this in, we use a cast iron frying pan to cook risotto. Begin by preparing the onion, celery and garlic. Heat the oil in a olive oil, test it’s hot with a little bit of chopped onion, if the oil starts to bubble around it you’re good to go.
- Gently fry the onion, celery and dried rosemary for about 10 minutes, till translucent and soft, now add the garlic and cook for another two minutes.
- Boil the water and prepare the stock, you might not need it all but make up 1ltr.
- Stir in the barley/ Italian rice/ spelt mix. Make sure to coat each grain with onion, celery and garlic. Now add 600ml of stock and 1 can of tomatoes. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, make sure you stir every so often else the grain will stick to the pan. I leave 1 can of tomatoes out here as there is too much liquid for the grains to absorb in one go.
- 5. After 20 minutes add the second can of tomatoes and more stock. You’ll need to gauge the amount you need by how much stock was absorbed in the last 20 minutes. Now simmer again for 20 minutes, or till most of the liquid has been absorbed.. Remember if it gets too dry before the grains are soft and cooked through, add more stock
- Whilst this is reducing (and you are stirring it) pop the almonds on a baking tray under a warm grill for about 5 minutes, or till golden brown. Once toasted, cool and chop to garnish the finished risotto.
- When the risotto has reached your desired consistency, not to dry or liquidy. Serve each portion with a generous serving of Philadelphia and garnish with the chopped toasted almonds.
You might be tempted to buy ready toasted almonds but I promise they taste better when you do it at home.
Other risotto recipes you might like:
Recipe, text and photos By Russell Bowes