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These days, I am on a strict budget. I am training myself to feed a full house on a single income. A 6 month old baby, a large dog, a cat and myself. Since I became a parent, I instantly learnt to put myself last. So when it comes to my dinners, after doing all the shopping for the others, my tiny budget doesn’t leave much room for me.

The things I love to make for myself are undergoing a makeover to be cost friendly. Items such as pesto and risotto, were always relatively affordable but I am once again cutting back and using less expensive ingredients and still making super yummy meals. This risotto is my latest new budget friendly dish. Still full of flavour, and using good ingredients, it still packs a punch and also warms the heart.

 

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SIMPLE TOMATO RISOTTO

  • 200 g risotto rice
  • 250 ml passata
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 80 ml vermouth or dry white wine
  • 1/2 ball of mozzarella
  • handful of basil leaves, shredded
  • 3/4 litres of hot vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper

THE HOW

In a Medium sized heavy bottom saucepan or casserole dish, heat the oil. Add the onion, cook over a medium heat to soften. Add the garlic and stir. Add in the risotto rice and mix well so the rice is coated in the oil.

Add in the vermouth and cook to burn off the alcohol for 1 minute. Add about 1/3 of a tsp of sea salt and a few grinds of pepper.

Pour in the passata and stir. Next add in about 1/5 of the stock (roughly a cup). Keep stirring. When the liquid is almost soaked up by the rice, add in some more stock and continue to stir. Repeat this for about 20 -25 minutes until the rice is just under cooked and you have used up your stock. It should still have a bite to it but not be too tough or hard. Don’t worry if you havent used all your stock, depending on your preference for al dente or softer rice. If you need more liquid, add some boiling water.

Take the pan off the heat and stir in the shredded basil (reserving some for scattering over when serving) and mozzarella.

Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with the reserved basil and a grind of pepper.

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