I think I’m going to save this recipe and make it again around Christmas. I’m not sure why, but I kept thinking of that season as I was standing over the stove stirring. Stirring, stirring, stirring – that’s risotto. It smelled so good and the colors are wonderful.
Laura originally found this recipe on a food blog called Wine & Glue. After reading through it for a bit, I realized some ingredients were missing. I also noticed that the author was originally inspired by a similar risotto recipe that was put out by Martha Stewart. I clicked through to Martha’s site and found the recipe for the dish I prepared today. It’s got everything in it and it’s complete. The only thing I changed was to remove the sausage, which made it vegetarian.
If you’ve never prepared risotto, I encourage you to give it a try. It’s really not as difficult to make as Gordon Ramsay might lead you to believe. True, it takes a lot of stirring to bring out the creaminess and to keep the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot, but after a while, a simple taste test tells you when you can stop. Actually, now that I think of it, it’s rather fool-proof.
In particular, this dish includes a nice array of vegetables. From the tomatoes to the spinach to the onion, it’s pretty hearty. The white wine gives the flavor a boost and the Parmesan cheese really rounds everything out. And of course, the Arborio rice creates the creamy texture with even more heartiness. Overall, it’s a nice recipe that’s perfect for any time of the winter. Starting in November, pull this one out of your cookbook and get ready to make it once per week.
1 28-Ounce Can Diced Tomatoes
1 Tablespoon Regular Olive Oil
1 Medium Sized Sweet Onion, Chopped
1 Teaspoon Regular Table Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1 Cup Arborio Rice
1/2 Cup Dry White Wine
1 Bunch Flat-Leaf Spinach (10 to 14 ounces), Chopped
1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese, Grated (plus a bit more for serving)
2 Tablespoons Butter
If push comes to shove and you don’t have any canned diced tomatoes, crushed will work just fine. As a matter of fact, that’s exactly what I used in this recipe.
Simmer Tomato Sauce
Warm a medium sized saucepan over medium-high heat. Then, add the can of diced tomatoes to it, along with 3 cups of water. Wait for a boil and then reduce heat to low to keep a simmer going. Keep saucepan covered. The primary goal with this step is to warm the sauce so when you add it to the risotto later on, it’s already to temperature.
Warm a large saucepan over medium heat. Then, add the olive oil to it, along with the chopped onion. Also add in the salt and pepper. Cook and stir for about 5 minutes or until the onion is softened.
Add Rice to Pot
Once the onion is softened, go ahead and add the rice to the pot. Cook and stir well for about 1 minute. In case you’re not familiar with what Arborio rice looks like, I’ve got a photo for you.
When the rice is well coated, add the white wine and cook for an additional 2 minutes, or until the wine has been absorbed by the rice.
Cook the Rice
This step is the most critical to the entire recipe.
First, turn off the heat for the small saucepan that’s holding the tomato sauce. Then, lower the heat for the large saucepan to medium-low.
Next, add about 2 cups of the tomato sauce to the large saucepan, from the small saucepan. Stir well and wait until the majority of the tomato sauce has been absorbed.
Continue adding tomato sauce, 1 cup at a time, stirring, until the rice is creamy and tender. This will take approximately 25 minutes and you may not need to use all of the tomato sauce. I did, but you might not need to.
This is what the ingredients in the pot look like about half way through.
And this is what the ingredients look like when the rice is just about finished cooking. There are probably just a few more minutes of cooking left. You can definitely see how much larger the rice is once it’s cooked.
Add Remaining Ingredients
After the rice is cooked and tender, turn the heat on your stove top off. Then, add the spinach and mix well until it’s all wilted. Also add in the Parmesan cheese and the butter. Mix everything together well.
The Final Risotto
When everything is mixed together well, divide what’s in the large pot up between a few bowls. Then, sprinkle some shredded Parmesan cheese on top of the risotto and serve. Perfect!