6 oz fresh mozzarella cheese small balls or chunks
1/4 tsp dried basil
drizzle of olive oil
8 oz cherry tomatoes (or grape tomatoes) (approx 1.5 cups)
1 1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
6 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp red onion finely diced
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1 cup white wine
6 cups vegetable stock (or chicken stock)
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh basil thinly sliced
a pinch of salt
a pinch of black pepper
1. Put the mozzarella balls or chunks into a small bowl. Drizzle with
olive oil and sprinkle a pinch of salt and dried basil. Stir and set aside
2. Cut the tomatoes into halves and place in a small bowl. Add the
balsamic and stir. Set aside for the tomatoes to marinate while you
are cooking. You will want to stir every so often so that all of the
tomatoes get the same balsamic time.
3. Place the stock in a pot and heat over medium low. You want the
stock to be warm when adding it to the risotto so that the
temperature change does not affect the rice.
4. In a large pot, melt 3 Tablespoons of the butter over medium heat.
When melted, add the red onion. Cook until the onion is translucent
but not yet browning, approximately 3-5 minutes.
5. Add the rice and stir. Continue cooking to slightly toast the rice
until it is just starting to show a little brown color, approximately 3-5
6. Add the white wine to the pot. Cook until the rice is almost dry,
where most of the wine has been absorbed.
7. Add one cup of stock to the rice. Stir continuously until most of the
stock has been absorbed. Repeat this process one cup of stock at a
time until the rice is cooked thoroughly. You want the rice to have just
a little bit of bite left so that it is not completely mushy. Depending on
your rice, you may need more or less stock for the right consistency
so start tasting the rice after 4 cups.
8. When your rice is cooked through, remove the pot from the heat.
Add the rest of the butter, the Parmesan cheese, and half of the
mozzarella pieces. (The mozzarella you add at this step will melt in).
Stir to combine.
9. Remove the tomatoes from the balsamic marinade. Add the fresh
basil and tomatoes to the pot and stir. Taste the risotto and season
with salt and pepper. Top off each dish with the additional mozzarella
pieces, more fresh basil, and more Parmesan. (This finishing touch of
mozzarella will give you the chunks of cheese pockets in your dish as
they will not fully melt into the risotto).
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