While one can always invent new combinations and experiment with unknown flavors, there are certain pairs of ingredients that just work together. If you combine the two, you can be pretty much certain that satisfaction will follow. Chocolate and raspberries, sea salt and caramel, bread and cheese…these are only a few examples. And for me, rice and tomatoes is definitely another one.
There is something about this combination that delivers immediate comfort, whether it’s in a simple tomato soup with a handful of rice, a side of tomato rice with a Greek meal or – definitely my favorite – in this risotto.
I had the most wonderful tomato risotto during my visit to Polpo and I’ve recreated the idea of this dish many times since. It’s as if adding tomatoes makes the risotto even creamier than when you’re only using stock, while they also give some sweetness and a savory touch.
I love to combine this risotto with some sharp, spicy arugula leaves for a nice contrast in both taste and texture. For a milder taste, basil leaves work really nice too.
Some grated Parmesan really gives this risotto an extra kick and I often add some mozzarella as well; it’s delicious when it gets all melted in the risotto.
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