Tomato, Basil and Mozzarella Risotto

Roasted Tomato, Mozzarella & Basil RIsotto

A little over a year ago, a great new Italian restaurant, Canaletto’s opened in Fashion Island. Fashion Island is that great outdoor shopping center in Newport Beach. The restaurant is modern, noisy and bustling.

It is part of the Il Fornaio organization. They have a great wait staff and every dish I have tried has been great. We had a birthday celebration in their private room off the back but I like sitting in the main area.

One of my favorite things to order is a risotto that has tomato, arugula and mozzarella in it. It is juicy from the tomatoes and has a creaminess from the cheese.

Last week I decided to make my own using some leftover Burrata Cheese. I added roasted tomatoes and a bit of garlic. I wish I could serve you a bite right now and let you taste it. The flavors burst in your mouth.

Tomato, Basil & Mozzarella Risotto

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot, finely minced
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup dry Italian wine
4 cups chicken broth
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3-4 plum tomatoes oven roasted, chopped (see below)
Kosher Salt & Freshly ground black pepper
Mozzarella, cut in cubes
Basil or Arugula, chopped
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese


Melt butter and olive oil in  a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic and until softened. Add the rice and stir until rice is well coated and glistening. Add wine and stir, allowing the rice to cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed.

Stir in a cup of the chicken stock, making sure the rice is covered. Season with a bit of salt. Continue to stir and add chicken stock, allowing the liquid to be absorbed and then add more stock. Cook until the rice is al dente.

Once the risotto is creamy and al dente, fold in the roasted tomatoes and basil. Add a bit of the freshly grated parmesan cheese and stir. Fold in the mozzarella cubes. Top with remaining parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

Roasted Tomatoes

Cut plum tomatoes in half and place skin side up on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes to one hour.

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