I've been putting off this month's challenge due to all the stress that comes w/ exams, but i finally got down to it last night! It also helped to know that our hosts, Eleanor and Jess, gave us a lot of freedom coming up with our own variations of Risotto... sparing me the panic of looking for ingredients at the last minute. So without the month-long research that I usually take to decide on my challenge variation, i decided to just dive in and give Risotto "Osteria" a try. You see, JLo and I are loyal customers to this pizza delivery/restaurant called "Osteria" near our dorm, and one of their best dishes is their trademark risotto. I tried to recreate the dish from what i could remember and although the taste wasn't 100% identical, I was pretty satisfied with the end result. This risotto is made with chicken, broccoli, marinated red peppers, and mushrooms... then coated with a thick layer of creamy tomato sauce. So if you're ever considering making a tomato-based risotto, be sure to give this Osteria medley a try!
Risotto with Creamy Tomato Sauce
- Creamy Tomato Sauce:
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1/3 cup mascarpone cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon sugar, or to taste
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Risotto Base:
- 60 mL olive oil (2 fluid oz)
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 400g Arborio rice (14 oz)
- 60 mL white wine (2 fluid oz)
- 1 liter chicken or vegetable stock, simmering [recipe below]
- Chicken breasts, cooked
- Button mushrooms, diced
- Marinated red peppers, sliced
- Fresh broccoli, cut into small pieces
Creamy Tomato Sauce
- Heat the tomato sauce in a small pot.
- Add in the mascarpone cheese and stir until it becomes salmon pink in color.
- Season with basil, oregano, sugar, salt, and pepper. Set Aside.
- Heat oil in a pan and add onion. Fry for a few minutes to flavour the oil then discard. (We diced ours and left it in as we like onion) [picture 1].
- Add the rice and stir for a few minutes to coat each grain of rice with oil and toast slightly [picture 2].
- Add the wine and let it bubble away until evaporated.
- Add enough stock to cover the rice by a finger’s width (about an inch or two) [picture 3]. Don't actually stick your finger in, it will be hot. Just eye it off.
- Cook on medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon from time to time, until most of the stock has been absorbed.
- Repeat Step 5 making sure to leave aside approximately 100 ml of stock for the final step.
- Repeat, save 100ml for the final stage.
- Once you are at this point, the base is made. You now get to add your own variation.
- 1 large chicken 2-3 pounds (about 1 kg)
- Chicken bones 2-3 pounds (about 1 kg)
- 2 onions, roughly diced
- 1 medium leek - white part only, roughly diced
- 2 sticks celery, roughly diced
- 2 cloves garlic, halved
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tsp. white peppercorns ( Any type of whole peppercorn will do)
- 2 bay leaves (fresh or dried, it doesn't matter.)
- peel of 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- Wash the chicken and bones and places in a 5 Litre pot, cover completely with water and bring to a boil
- Skim away any scum as it comes to the surface
- Add the vegetables and bring back to a boil
- Add the rest remaining ingredients and simmer very gently, uncovered for 1.5 hours
- Carefully lift out the chicken, set aside. The chicken meat can be removed from the chicken, shredded off and used for other things like soup!
- Simmer the stock gently for another hour. At , at the end you should have around 2 Liters
- Carefully ladle the liquid into a fine sieve, the less the bones and vegetables are disturbed in this process the clearer the stock will be. The stock is now ready for use. Freeze what you don't need for later use.