Just in case you needed to throw a liiiiittle more summer in your mouth.
AND – this one’s vegetarian (besides the chicken stock). I get a lot of requests for vegetarian, so here ya go, bunnies! (sub veggie stock if y’awnt.)
I’ll tell you how to winterize this in a minute. It’s honestly a year-round base of a recipe, but you can tweak it to fit whatever season.
Let us peepeth. (<–I’m tempted to ask who’s sick of that phrase but I prefer to live in blissful oblivion.)
Standard risotto cast of characters. The corn and tomatoes are prime time summer stars, but everything else is a pantry and/or fridge staple. You dig?
Of course you do, we’re looking at carbs and cheese and butter and wine.
Gah, I love risotto.
OH! I also, I learned from Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy that risotto comes from the northern regions of Italy. Which I found supremely interesting and had no idea at all. So like, up north they eat risotto and polenta, and in Rome it’s more pasta, and in Naples it’s pizza. Isn’t that something else? Ah know.
Let’s blitz up the tomatoes. I used five romas, but you’re welcome to use whatever bumper crop is lingering in your garden, or whatever you think looks delicious at any market. Blitz blitz!
Then you’ll pour the puréed tomatoes into a small pot with two cups chicken stock – this is what we’ll ladle into the rice, you see. Are we having fun yet?
Don’t answer that.
As with any risotto, start by sautéing chopped onions and garlic in a little butter. Your life already smells so divine right now, you might want to scream.
Then add the Arborio rice and toast it in the pan with the aromatics. Just like, thirty seconds. Nothing aggressive. Add the wine and let it bubble up and waft in your face all spa like. Keep stirring the rice so nothing sticks.
AND THEN, we start the ladle action.
I need to mention, bring the tomatoes and stock (and a pinch of salt) to a low bubble. You just want it on a low heat, baaarely simmering, while you continually ladle it into the rice. The TRICK is though, you’ll start with a cup of tomato broth. Let this simmer on a medium-low heat until the rice absorbs the liquid. So like, take your wooden spoon and move it through the rice, and when the sauce is slow to move together, add more liquid. A half cup at the time. I know you know all this, I just like chatting. Hi! Tell me things. How are you?
Another thing, this is a mild labor of love. You’re standing at the stove preeeeetty much the whole cooking time. Which, to me is meditative and soothing to constantly stir the rice, watch it plump and get tender, slowly absorbing the tomato broth. It’ll take about 20 minutes to get it all stirred in. So just sip on a chilled glass of white wine (the one you opened for this!) and let it be, okay? Just let it be.
Then turn that heat off and stir in the last of the butter, about a half cup of grated parmesan cheese (more if you’re scandalous) and a good pinch of salt. Keep tasting it to make sure it’s seasoned enough. Maybe refill your wine? I mean, we’re just trying to stay on top of things here.
While you’re doing all this stirring, go ahead and shuck the corn, slice the kernels, get them all on a baking sheet with a pinch of salt and a drizzle of oil, and broil those mothers until they start to slightly caramelize, darken and pop around on the pan like a circus performer.
It’s like CANDY, you guys. Stupid delicious, and you need to make your life about it.
Boom. All done. Just throw all the corn on top with a fresh herb all minced up. More cheese? Duh. A drizzle of oil? Yes, please.
I’m telling you, this mess is SO, so good. It’s creamy, comforting, rustic, toothy, sweet, savory, all the things at once. Your mouth will lose its whole entire mind and there’s really not much you’ll be able to do.
Look at that. I know you’re thinking, “But I want this in January.”
Yes, pigeon, I get it. You’ll open can of San Marzano tomatoes, blitz them up and add them to stock. And the corn? A bag of frozen (or canned!) works just as well.
You can even add in a couple of links of spicy Italian sausage if you need more guts. I’ve done this and it’s wonderful for a little casual dinner party. A crunchy green salad on the side? Yup.
Maybe some extra toasted crusty bread carbs? I like this life direction for you.
Okay WHOA I have a lot more photos.
I’ll just let you gaze for a moment.
Look at that pile of creamy utopia.
There’s just no way you can’t not want to suit up and hibernate forever in that.
Seriously divine. Kids will go knock-out bonkers, yet it’s refined enough for adult taste buds, too.
Now that we’re past Labor Day, aren’t you just feeeeeeling this?? Yet it’s still summery, if it’s hot as poop where you live. It works for anytime!
And by that I mean now.
If you need me, I’m in that for the rest of my life.