Risotto with Tomato, Basil, and Homemade Ricotta

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Tomato, basil and cheese is such a classic combination and very typical with pasta and pizza. I decided to put it together with risotto and I know you’ll love it!

This recipe is based on my basic risotto recipe and that recipe is really a launching point for the many types of risotto I make. The first few steps, in particular toasting the rice over high heat and adding and cooking off wine, are important as is slowly adding in and cooking off stock. The goal is to release the starch of the rice. This leaves you with a soft and creamy texture. What’s wonderful about this technique is that while the texture is creamy - the rice is never mushy.

While I do document many of my recipes, the truth is i often make risotto with what I have on hand. it’s a great place to use extra cauliflower, mushrooms, herbs etc. that you have in the fridge. Once you get the basic technique down, risotto becomes a really simple meal to put together.

The flavor base - the soffritto, in French known as the mirepoix, can have added garlic or bits of the vegetables you’re featuring. For example, if you were making a roasted cauliflower risotto you could add diced bits of the cauliflower stem into the soffritto. You could also add cauliflower into the stock to intensify its’ flavor.

One last thing, most commercially produced ricotta is really inferior. If you can make your own, please do! If not, find a shop that makes it from scratch. Another alternative is to use a mild feta.

I hope you love the recipe!

Buon Appetito!

Risotto with Tomato, Basil, and Homemade Ricotta

Yield: 8
prep time: cook time: total time:


  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced finely
  • 1  cup finely diced celery
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, seeds squeezed out and reserved for other use
  • 1 handbull ripped basil
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup ricotta
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4-5 tablespoons salted butter


How to cook Risotto with Tomato, Basil, and Homemade Ricotta

  1. Make the soffritto:  In a high-sided skillet heat olive oil over medium heat and add in butter. Melt the butter into the olive oil. Add the onion and celery and sauté slowly until the vegetables are cooked and clear, about 15 minutes. Do not brown the vegetables.
  2. Heat the stock in a pot and keep at a low simmer on a close burner.
  3. When the vegetables are ready increase the heat to medium-high and stir in the rice. Toast the rice for 1 to 2 minutes, until well coated with the butter and oil. Add in the white wine and lower the heat back to medium. Cook the wine off completely and start adding in the stock one ladle at a time, cooking the stock off completely and then adding another. Keep this process going until the rice is close to done.
  4. While the rice is cooking prepare the tomatoes and the ricotta.
  1. Stir the basil together with the tomatoes in a medium-sized bowl.  Drizzle the olive oil and red wine vinegar.  Season with salt and pepper.  Taste and adjust seasonings. 
  1. Stir the ricotta, oregano and red pepper flakes together in a small bowl.  
  1. Stir in the tomatoes into the rice, along with another ladle of stock.  Cook down and add more stock if necessary; cooking until the rice is creamy and has just a slight tooth to it.   Stir in the Parmesan and butter and finally the ricotta.   Taste and add salt if necessary.  
  2. Divide among 8 plates and serve garnished with fresh basil and a drizzle of your favorite finishing olive oil.  


You may not use all of the stock.



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