Red Risotto

This risotto is rich and red-colored from the red wine and fresh tomato in the recipe. It’s a nice change of flavor from the usual risotto with mushrooms or just onions and black pepper and grated romano cheese.


I make risotto by sautéing diced onion in olive oil


then adding the Arborio rice and sautéing it for a few minutes


Usually to make plain risotto, I add the first bit of liquid (chicken broth and white wine) at this point. But to make mine tomato-flavored, I added chopped fresh tomato here and kept cooking and stirring until the rice stopped sticking to the bottom because of the natural juice from the tomato.


I added red wine and water, then stirred until the rice had absorbed the liquid, added more liquid, stirred until the rice absorbed it, and repeated the process a few times.


This recipe makes two to three servings. Risotto leftovers do not keep well in the refrigerator, and in fact the risotto can get kind of gummy if you leave it out for even half an hour before eating it.

One way to solve this problem is to get creative with leftovers! Arancini are a traditional Italian appetizer made by rolling leftover risotto (with a bit of filling inside sometimes) in breadcrumbs and frying it. You can find my recipe for arancini here :) Risotto al forno (baked risotto) is also delicious and easy to make by sprinkling breadcrumbs and grated mozzarella cheese over risotto in a baking dish and then letting it bake at about 375 degrees until the cheese melts.

You can also use my Grandpa Al’s “make-ahead” technique for risotto to help avoid making more than you need (just quickly cook a serving as needed with a few Tablespoons of water, and you won’t have to prepare a whole batch at once)!


Red Risotto


    1 cup red wine

    1 Tablespoon olive oil

    1 clove garlic, chopped finely

    ¼ cup finely chopped onion

    1 cup Arborio rice (uncooked risotto)

    1 large tomato, chopped

    salt, pepper, and grated parmesan cheese to serve


    Mix the wine with 1 ½ cups water and set aside.

    In a large saucepan, heat the oil and add the garlic and onion. Add the Arborio rice and sauté for a minute until the rice has begun to turn a little golden.

    Add the tomato pieces and sauté until the tomato releases its juice (you’ll notice the little stuck bits of onion and garlic lift off the bottom of the saucepan). Keep cooking for about a minute, then pour in a cup of the wine mixture.

    Cook and stir until the liquid has been mostly absorbed by the rice, then add another cup of the wine mixture and repeat.

    Add the last half cup of the wine mixture, and cook until all of the liquid has been absorbed.

    Season with salt and serve immediately with fresh black pepper and grated parmesan or romano cheese.

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