Delia

Roasted and Sun-dried Tomato Risotto

Oven-roasted tomatoes, which have been slightly blackened and become really concentrated in flavour, are the mainstay of this superb dish. Add to them some sun-dried tomatoes, Parmesan, a hint of saffron and some creamy, nutty rice and you have one of the nicest risottos imaginable. Vegetarians might like to know that a vegetarian parmesan-style cheese is available from Bookhams


Serves 2 as a supper dish or 3-4 as a light lunch

This recipe is taken from Delia Smith’s Winter Collection. It has also appeared in Sainsbury's Magazine (Oct 1993).

Roasted and Sun-dried Tomato Risotto
Ingredients
For the roasted tomatoes:
 1½ lb (700 g) tomatoes
 1 dessertspoon extra virgin olive oil
 1 fat clove garlic, chopped
 1 x 15 g pack (or ½ oz) basil leaves
 salt and freshly milled black pepper
For the risotto:
 2 level teaspoons sun-dried tomato paste
 4 oz (110 g) sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
 1 oz (25 g) butter
 1 red onion, finely chopped
 8 oz (225 g) Italian carnaroli rice
 ¼ level teaspoon saffron stamens
 10 fl oz (275 ml) dry white wine
 2 oz (50 g) Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiano), freshly grated, plus 1 oz (25 g) extra shaved into flakes with a potato peeler (see recipe introduction)
 1 tablespoon double cream
 salt and freshly milled black pepper
 Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6, 400°F (200°C).
Equipment
You will also need a solid roasting tray 14 x 10 inches (35 x 25.5cm), and a 9 inch (23 cm) shallow ovenproof dish of about 3 pint (1.75 litre) capacity.

Method

First of all, skin the tomatoes by pouring boiling water over them, then leave them for 1 minute exactly before draining them and slipping the skins off (if they're too hot protect your hands with a cloth).

Now slice each tomato in half and arrange the halves on the roasting tray, cut side uppermost, then season with salt and pepper, sprinkle a few droplets of olive oil on each one, followed by the chopped garlic, then finally top each one with half a basil leaf dipped in oil first to get a good coating.

Now pop the whole lot into the oven and roast the tomatoes for 50-60 minutes or until the edges of the tomatoes are slightly blackened. After that, remove them from the oven and then put the dish in the oven to pre-heat it, reducing the temperature to gas mark 4, 350°F (180°C) first.

Now put the tomatoes and all their juices into a processor and blend.

Next, melt the butter in a large heavy saucepan and fry the onion for about 7 minutes until it is just tinged brown at the edges. After that, add the rice and stir to coat all the grains with the buttery juices.

Now crush the saffron stamens to a powder with a pestle and mortar, then add this to the rice, together with the wine. Bring it up to boiling point, let it bubble for a minute then add the tomato paste and 12 fl oz (330 ml) boiling water.

Give it all a good stir, season with salt and pepper and then add all the processed tomato mixture plus the sun-dried tomatoes. Stir again and bring it just up to simmering point, then transfer the whole lot to the warm dish, return the dish to the oven and, using a timer, give it 35 minutes.

After that stir in the grated Parmesan and give it another 5-10 minutes – what you'll have to do here is to bite a grain of rice to check when it's ready. It should be tender but still retain some bite.

Just before serving, stir in the cream and top each portion with shavings of Parmesan and any leftover basil leaves.

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