A surprisingly unlazy dinner: Roasted tomato and ricotta risotto

The other day I popped into Tesco (not my usual shop of choice) to pick up something quick for dinner. I had intended to go for something super lazy, perhaps even just opting for a can of baked beans for my jazzed up beans on toast (you’ve got to love baked beans). However, to my delight I noticed that they’ve started selling pick’n’mix tomatoes, which is an absolutely genius idea and one I hope Sainsbury’s will nick. As my husband utterly revels in anything tomatoey, I immediately resolved to abandon the lazy dinner I had planned and make him a special dinner treat of roasted mixed tomato risotto.

I won’t bore you to tears (again) with all my ranting rules and tips about making a good risotto. Needless to say, as someone with an absolute passion for risotto I have many. If you’re interested then you can read my post about mushroom risotto, which includes the full onslaught of directions.

This recipe was mostly instinctual, though the baked ricotta part is something that I’ve seen Sir Jamie do in one of his recipes. Measurements are approximate as you don’t need to be too precise with a risotto. Just chuck stuff in and it’ll be reeeght.

Roasted tomato and ricotta risotto

for two

  • 150g good risotto rice
  • a few handfuls of mixed tomatoes
  • approx 100g ricotta
  • 1 dried chilli
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • a small glass of white wine
  • 1 large clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • a couple of handfuls of rocket, plus more for garnish
  • a pint or so of good chicken stock
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to around 180°C. Chop all your tomatoes into halves (or if you’re using bigger tomatoes into segments), put them all in an oven dish in a single layer if possible and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Season generously with sea salt and pepper and bung in the oven for 20-30 minutes until they look like this.

Meanwhile, put your ricotta in a little dish, then crumble the dried chilli and sprinkle the dried oregano on top. Drizzle with a little wee bit of extra virgin olive oil and bake in the oven alongside the tomatoes for the last 15 minutes or so.

Then get on with your risotto. Firstly, heat your stock. Then in a separate large heavy-bottomed pan heat a couple of glugs of extra virgin olive oil. Add the finely chopped onion and cook until soft. Add the garlic and cook for a further couple of minutes. Turn up the heat and add your risotto rice and cook for a couple of minutes stirring constantly (but slowly). You don’t want any colour on the rice so it’s important to keep the grains moving (if the temperature seems a bit too high, then turn it down a bit). After a couple of minutes the rice will begin to look a bit translucent; once it does, add the white wine, keeping on stirring as it sizzles into the hot pan (this will smell absolutely fantastic!).  

Once the wine seems to have been absorbed into the rice, add your first ladle of hot stock. I added about a quarter or my roasted tomatoes at this point so that my risotto had a really tomatoey flavour. You don’t want to add too many as they will disintegrate to nothing and you want whole tomato pieces in your finished dish. Turn down the heat to a low simmer and gradually add a ladleful of stock at a time, stirring and allowing each ladleful to absorb into the rice before adding the next. After around 15 minutes or so the rice will be ready. You want the rice to be soft but with a slight bite. 

When the rice is ready, stir in your baked ricotta and your roasted tomatoes and season to taste. If you like you can add butter and parmesan at this stage (leaving with the lid on for it all to melt in) but I don’t think it needs it and this version is really light and summery.

Just before you serve, stir through your rocket until it’s wilted slightly.

Serve in warmed bowls with another handful of rocket on top and drizzled with your best quality olive oil. Tomatoey and creamy with a little bit of heat. Delish.

We had seconds.

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Filed under Cheese, Chillies, Main courses, Recipes, Rice, Tomatoes, Weekday dinners

4 responses to “A surprisingly unlazy dinner: Roasted tomato and ricotta risotto

  1. Mum

    Looks good…And we get to learn that Jamie has been honoured by the Queen at the same time!

  2. Looks great; I’d never thought of baking the ricotta. What benefit does it give?

    • Thanks Lizzie.

      When you bake the ricotta the flavours deepen (and also combine with the chilli and oregano) and the texture changes a bit. You could probably just as easily not bake it though tbh.

  3. tiga

    Made it last night. Really good. Great vegetarian dish.

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