Mixing fresh tomatoes into a risotto is a revelation and adds a layer of freshness that is enhanced by the crushed fennel – yum! This is a lighter risotto with much less butter and cheese than we would normally add! Still there is loads of flavour and this is perfect for a weeknight (we try and save the butter and cheese for the weekend).
Saffron & tomato risotto – to serve 2
- 1/2 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- a large pinch of saffron threads, crushed
- olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1.5 litres vegetable stock
- 275g arborio rice
- 125ml white wine
- 3 tbsp parmesan, grated
Mix the fennel seeds with the chopped tomatoes. Pour 1 tbsp of boiling water over the saffron to soak. Heat the oil in a wide, shallow pan and add the onion with some seasoning. Cook for a few minutes or until softened. Heat the stock in a separate pan until simmering.
Add the rice to the onion and cook for a few minutes or until the grains are glistening. Pour in the saffron and stir for a minute before adding the wine. Keep stirring until the wine is absorbed.
Add a ladleful of stock and stir again until absorbed. Keep doing this until the rice is cooked but still has a bite. Add the tomatoes and fennel seeds and cook for a minute. Serve with the Parmesan.
Wine Suggestion: Try a medium-bodied and well-rounded white from Italy, like a Fiano or Falanghina. Or you could push the boat out with a top quality Greco di Tufo, full of minerality but still with the freshness needed for this dish – we had none of these unfortunately 😦