Mains/ Risotto

Creamy Tomato Risotto

February 11, 2019 (Last Updated: July 11, 2019)
Creamy Tomato Zucchini Risotto, an easy weeknight meal made with few ingredients and simple flavours. Insidetherustickitchen.com

Super easy, creamy and comforting Tomato Risotto made with simple pantry ingredients and ready in only 30 minutes. This risotto is the easiest way to get comfort food on your table throughout the week. 

Because food make you happy…

An overhead shot of tomato risotto on a plate topped with parmesan and basil

If you’ve never tried tomato risotto then you SO gotta, it’s so delicious and totally different from white based risottos. The tomato adds freshness and a little tang whilst the rice creates a creaminess that you just can’t resist.

The thing is, risotto, for some reason has this stigma around it of being super difficult and it couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s not only easy but it takes around 30 minutes from start to finish. There’s no need to be intimidated by it at all because you can’t really go wrong.

When it comes to risotto the combinations and variations are endless so you can have fun and make it your own. I prefer to stick to simple flavours and I don’t tend to add a lot of “extras” in the way of veggies and certainly no meat.

Traditionally, risotto was poor man’s food so it never contained any meat and I’ve just never liked the thought of adding it but you can do whatever you want, it’s your food after all!

The Best Rice to Use for Making Risotto

There are two main types of rice you can use to make a good risotto, Arborio or Carnaroli. Arborio rice is much more common and you should be able to find it in most supermarkets whereas Carnaroli is probably slightly harder to find.

Both these types of rice are short, fat and absorb less liquid than long-grain rice. They release more starch which gives the risotto the most delicious creamy texture whilst still having a little bite.

How to Make Creamy Tomato Risotto – Step By Step

Finely chop and sauté the onion for 2-3 minutes. Meanwhile cut the zucchini in half lengthways and then cut into slices. Add the zucchini to the pan and fry for 1 minute. (photo 1-3).

Next, add the garlic and fry for 1 minute then add the rice and stir to combine with everything in the pan for a few seconds (photos 4 & 5).
Step by step photos for making creamy tomato risotto
Add a few ladles of chicken stock to the rice and continue to stir until the rice starts to absorb the stock. Add the tomato paste, stir to combine and continue adding the stock a ladle at a time, allowing the rice to absorb the stock each time whilst constantly stirring (photos 6 & 7).

When there are just a couple ladles of stock left add the mascarpone, salt, and pepper to taste, then the remaining ladles of stock as before and stir until it reaches a nice creamy consistency but not too sticky. Add the parmesan, stir and serve (photos 8 & 9).

Using Leftovers

The best part about risotto is that it never goes to waste even if you have leftovers! To be honest, I have been known to just eat leftovers cold by the spoonful it’s just so delicious. But if you have a little more self-control you could make Arancini (Italian rice balls).

To make Arancini simply form cold risotto into balls, roll in flour, dip in beaten egg and then breadcrumbs. Fry the balls until golden brown in some vegetable oil then drain on kitchen paper…delicious!

You can even stuff the balls with mozzarella or another good melting cheese for an extra treat. These are a fun snack or can be served as an antipasto with drinks!

Top Tips For Making Creamy Tomato Risotto

  • Make sure to saute the onion until soft as it will release a lot of flavour.
  • Always add the stock a ladleful at a time allowing the rice to absorb the liquid in between. This helps create a creamy, silky texture as the rice absorbs all the flavours. If you add all the stock at once the rice will just boil and not be as tasty or creamy.
  • Stir often, you don’t need to constantly stir in fact when I lived in Italy I learned that stirring constantly releases too much starch and makes the rice sticky. Just look after it, don’t let it stick and stir it after adding stock.
  • Season – the amount of seasoning will depend on the stock that you use so always taste and add a little salt at a time.

A plate of tomato risotto with a fork and a glass of red wine at the side

More Easy Dinner Recipes You Might Like:

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5 from 1 vote

Creamy Tomato Risotto

Super easy, creamy and comforting Tomato Risotto made with simple pantry ingredients and ready in only 30 minutes. This risotto is the easiest way to get comfort food on your table throughout the week. 
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 323kcal
Author Emily Kemp

Ingredients

Instructions

  • In a large deep saucepan under a medium heat add 2 tsp of olive oil and sauté the onion for 2-3 minutes. Meanwhile cut your courgette in half lengthways then cut into slices. Add the courgette to the pan and fry for 1 minute. Add the rice and garlic and stir to stop it sticking just for a few seconds.
  • Add a few ladles of chicken stock and continue to stir until the rice starts to absorb the stock. Add the tomato paste and continue adding the stock a ladle at a time, allowing the rice to absorb the stock each time whilst constantly stirring.
  • When there are just a couple ladles of stock left add the mascarpone, salt, and pepper to taste, then the remaining ladles of stock as before and stir until it reaches a nice creamy consistency but not too sticky. Add the parmesan, stir and serve.

Notes

  • Make sure to saute the onion until soft as it will release a lot of flavour.
  • Always add the stock a ladleful at a time allowing the rice to absorb the liquid in between. This helps create a creamy, silky texture as the rice absorbs all the flavours. If you add all the stock at once the rice will just boil and not be as tasty or creamy.
  • Stir often, you don't need to constantly stir in fact when I lived in Italy I learned that stirring constantly releases too much starch and makes the rice sticky. Just look after it, don't let it stick and stir it after adding stock.
  • Season - the amount of seasoning will depend on the stock that you use so always taste and add a little salt at a time.

Nutrition

Calories: 323kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 148mg | Potassium: 437mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 265IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 3.7mg
Helpful Info for All Recipes
  • I always use extra virgin olive oil in all of my recipes unless stated otherwise
  • When I use canned or jarred tomatoes of any kind I always use this brand for the best results and flavour
  • All vegetables are medium sized unless stated otherwise
  • All recipes are tested and developed using a fan oven
  • Find out more about how nutrition is calculated here
  • Check out our must have Italian Pantry Staples here
  • You can also find all our Essential Kitchen Tools for Italian Cooking here
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6 Comments

  • Reply
    Ann
    August 12, 2017 at 5:19 am

    I thought it was such a great idea to use tomato paste in this recipe. I made it tonight for dinner and it was so tasty. I love risotto but I feel guilty eating it because I always add a lot of cheese. The addition of the mascarpone was brilliant. Just a little bit makes it so creamy. I did make a couple of changes that really put it over the top. I added a couple of anchovy fillets when I sauted the onions and I added a handful of chopped basil at the end. All in all, a wonderful recipe. Thank you!5 stars

    • Reply
      Inside the rustic kitchen
      August 13, 2017 at 4:01 pm

      Hi Ann, I’m so happy you enjoyed it. I love a cheesy, creamy risotto too it’s the best comfort food. Thanks so much for your kind comment!

  • Reply
    Marie-Pierre Breton
    June 10, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    I love risottos! This one is particularly interesting to me with the tomato paste, reminds me of a sofrito for paella. Italian delight for sure!

  • Reply
    insidetherustickitchen
    April 15, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    Thank you! I know, I didn’t before either but it’s lovely. 🙂

  • Reply
    LifestyleswithLia
    April 14, 2015 at 11:27 pm

    Looks amazing ! I never thought to put tomato in risotto but I’m sure it’s delish!!!

  • Leave a Reply

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