I know, I know…it’s early November. I have no business posting anything about summer knee-deep in autumn.
Migliorelli had some beautiful plum tomatoes for about $1.60 a pound. I bought three or four pounds fully intending to make some of Marcella’s tomato sauce later in the week but this post on Mouthfulsfood gave me other ideas.
Click here for a closeup version of this picture.
This risotto is a little more work-intensive than normal because the tomato purée was made from scratch. Canned is fine; I prefer Pomi-brand tomato products if I’m not using fresh.
2 lbs. plum tomatoes (can be slightly firm to the touch)
6 large shallots, diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup pinot gris or other white wine
6 cups chicken stock*
freshly grated Parmesan cheese
salt and freshly milled black pepper, to taste
chopped fresh parsley
For the slow-roasted tomatoes:
Pre-heat oven to 200 F.
Cut tomatoes in half; reserve half for the tomato purée. Lay the tomato halves, cut side up in a Pyrex baking dish or a foil-lined cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle each half with kosher salt and black pepper. Roast for five to six hours at 200 F. Set aside and let cool.
For the tomato purée:
Coarsely chop the remaining tomatoes. Heat olive oil in a pot and sweat half the diced shallots and half the garlic until they color slightly. Add the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Set aside and let cool. Purée in a food processor or blender, or better yet, pass through a food mill. Check seasoning.
For the risotto:
In a separate, smaller pot, have your chicken stock at a simmer over low heat.
Melt half the butter in a large pot. Add the remaining shallots and garlic. Sweat until the shallots become translucent, about 5 minutes. Be sure not to let the garlic brown — it will affect the taste of the risotto immeasurably. Add the rice and stir until the rice becomes translucent. Pour in the wine and cook until the liquid is mostly absorbed. It’s difficult to say how long this is — a good time measure would be, when the wine is reduced by about half its original quantity.
Add the stock, a ladleful at a time while continuing to stir. When the initial ladleful is mostly absorbed, add another. You probably won’t have to use all of the stock; it’s better to have more than enough than to be short, if that makes any sense. Cook the risotto for 20 to 25 minutes until it’s done, adding a ladleful of liquid each time the previous liquid is absorbed, stirring constantly. When the risotto is done, stir in a few tablespoons of the reserved tomato purée, the remaining butter and reserved slow-roasted tomatoes. Check seasoning.
Spoon the risotto onto warmed serving plates, sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese and herbs, and serve at once.
Makes 4 main entrée servings or 6 appetizer servings.
Time: One hour (does not include prep time).
*If you wanted to make this vegetarian, substitute vegetable stock instead.
After this weekend, I don’t expect to see any more tomatoes at the market until next June … unless they’re of the hydroponic variety.