January 27, 2014

Tuscan Comfort Food- Risotto al Pomodoro

Winter weather is finally kicking in slowly. The temperature is dropping but the sun is still shining. We are expecting snow this week, so from spring to winter now. In my garden the violets were just starting to bloom and the roses had also been blooming like crazy.

I noticed that the irises were also starting to poke out their long spiky leaves. Hope the freezing weather doesn't cause too much havoc. 

I adore winter for the bitter greens, oranges and comfort food it brings with it.

I was telling my husband about a wonderful dish of pasta i remember fro a trattoria on the Arno river called Il Cigno. They served a hot, hot, hot plate of spaghetti with tomato sauce with a raw egg yolk on top. You stirred the egg in as soon as you got the plate of pasta in front of you, sort of a tomato carbonara.

Andrea told me his mom did that for them with tomato risotto. I had to try it.

I adore simple recipes and love recreating my mother-in-law Tina's dishes for my husband.

I made a simple classic risotto, I used Vialone Nano, a short grained rice and canned tomatoes.

When the risotto is done, like for the pasta, I plated it up and served on the hot rice, for my foto above I put a large dose of freshly grated parmesan cheese to create a little nest! For my husband, I put the yolk right on the rice and let him stir in it and add his own parmesan.

It was a huge success. Really a one dish meal. I used 1 cup of rice for the two of us, and 1 small can of tomatoes and it was a huge portion.

Tina's Risotto al Pomodoro
2 large servings or 4 smaller for an first course

1 cup risotto rice ( arborio, vialone nano or canaroli)
2 cups tomato sauce ( I used a small can of tomatoes and chopped the tomatoes and measured)
1 small onion, minced ( where I live now, Certaldo,we are famous for the red onions)
1 garlic clove, minced
salt to taste
extra virgin olive oil

1 egg yolk per person
freshly grated parmesan cheese

Cover the bottom of your pot with olive oil and saute the onion and the garlic, until translucent.
Add the rice and stir to heat well. They call this "toasting" the rice, it does not change color.

Add the chopped tomatoes and the sauce from the can.

As the rice cooks, it will absorb the liquid, have extra water on hand. I don't use broth.

The rice should absorb twice its weight in liquid. The can is about 1 cup of sauce.
Add the rest of the water and stir until the rice is cooked. Should take about 15 minutes.

Taste a kernel of rice, bit it with your front teeth, it should not be crunchy, but still have a little "bite". Adjust the salt to taste.

Serve the risotto HOT. Create a little crater for the yolk and place the yolk gently on the rice.
Or you can first place the grated parmesan cheese and then the yolk.

Have everyone stir the yolk into the rice, which will cook it with the heat, creating a creamy sauce.


  1. I had to read this post in full , I am unsure about the egg but as you say if your food is HOT it should cook :-)

  2. this looks delicious and fun with the egg to mix in

  3. What a beautiful plate! Bart told me that his mom used to do the spaghetti and egg thing. I bet he will love this one!

  4. Very interesting! I've done lightly poached eggs on top of pasta but never a raw egg. Might have to try this. :-)

  5. I think we'll definitely be having this this week! What a great idea, putting a yolk in the center of each bowl of risotto. I can see endless combination possiblities.

  6. Hello my name is Francesca and I'm Italian. I found your blog by chance and I loved it. I have joined your followers. If you go too foul. Thank you. Francesca.

  7. the idea of ​​replacing the pasta with rice is definitely a healthy choice even though in the classic Italian carbonara can not do without the use of pasta