Magazine

ROOIBOS-SCENTED RISOTTO WITH TOMATOES AND PARMESAN

The ideal dish for unexpected guests

PREP: 20 MIN – COOK: 30 MIN

For an impromptu dinner party for 8

FOR THE BROTH


FOR THE RISOTTO

  • 8 large, ripe tomatoes
  • 6 onions, preferably sweet onions
  • 150 ml (2/3 cup) olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 4 sprigs rosemary, leaves picked
  • 600 g (1 ¼ lbs. or 3 cups minus 2 tablespoons) round-grained rice, preferably Arborio
  • 300 ml (1 ¼ cups) dry white wine
  • 6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted ricotta cheese
  • Salt and freshly grated black pepper

Special equipment: a risotto spoon – a wooden spoon with a hole.

If you don’t have one, use an ordinary wooden spoon.

METHOD

1. Prepare the broth: In a large saucepan, bring the water to the boil with the bouillon cubes, the aromatic herbs and the Purple Sunset or Safari au Cap. As soon as the water boils, strain the liquid though a fine-mesh sieve. You will need the broth to be simmering for the risotto, so either wash out your saucepan to re-use it, or strain the broth into a clean saucepan and keep it over low heat.

2. While the broth is coming to the boil, drop the tomatoes into a large bowl of boiling water and remove after 1 minute. Immediately rinse them under cold water. Peel the skins, remove the seeds and dice the flesh. Finely dice the onions. Drizzle 30 ml (2 tablespoons) of the olive oil into a pan and heat. Gently sauté half of the diced onion with the tomatoes, sugar and rosemary. Cook over low heat until softened; this should take about 30 minutes.


3. 
In a large, heavy-bottomed frying pan over high heat, colour the remaining diced onion with the remaining olive oil. Pour in the rice, making figures of eight with the risotto spoon to mix it through. Continue cooking over high heat for 5 minutes or until all the grains are translucent.

4. Pour in the wine. Continue stirring until it has evaporated completely. Then add a ladleful of the hot rooibos-scented broth, stirring until it has evaporated. Continue adding liquid, stirring constantly, until the rice is cooked. Lower the heat to minimum. Stir in the Parmesan and ricotta. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the softened tomatoes, cover with a lid and heat for 3 minutes. Serve immediately.

Tip: If you have time, or if you’re cooking ahead, you can make your own broth using the ingredients listed here.

Roughly chop the celery and the carrot. In a large stockpot over high heat, place all the ingredients, pour in the water and bring to the boil. When the water is boiling, lower the heat and simmer for 1 hour 30 minutes with the pot half-covered. Strain and use for the risotto.

Buon appetito! Smaaklike ete!

MIKAËL GROU’S WINE PAIRING 

A Chardonnay from Hamilton Russell Vineyards.