Fresh Summer Tomato Risotto

fresh tomato risotto

When summer comes and tomatoes are ripe and juicy I look forward to making this fresh tomato risotto. It’s not heavy as you might think, it’s a summer version that’s actually refreshingly light.

You can eat it as is for dinner or lunch on a hot summer day or pair it with grilled meats, veggies or fish, either way you’ll love the delicate flavors of the sweet tomatoes along with garlic, onions, white wine and grated parmesan.

summer tomatoes

Make this while the tomatoes are at their peak at farmers markets, produce departments and especially your home gardens.

making risotto

The process is pretty much the same as making any risotto, sautéing the veg, adding the rice, stirring in the broth.

pot of simmering risotto

The sweet, fresh tomatoes get tossed right into the pot until everything absorbs and mingles together.

cooked tomato risotto

Toss in some freshly grated Parmigiano and a hunk of butter at the end.

plated risotto

Now shower it with fresh torn basil!

stuffed. risotto tomatoes

Now if you so happen to have any leftovers, grab a few  more summer tomatoes, hollow them out, add the pulp to the existing leftover risotto and stuff them into the tomatoes, drizzle with olive oil and bake until tender and soft!

Fresh Summer Tomato Risotto
A summery version of risotto that features sweet fresh tomatoes.
  • 1-1/2 cups of arborio rice
  • 3 cups of cubed, ripe summer tomatoes, not. cherry tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion, diced, red or yellow
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½. cup white wine
  • 1 box of low sodium broth, chicken or veggie
  • ½ cup grated Parmigiano or Pecorino cheese
  • butter
  • olive oil
  • basil
  1. Simmer broth in a pot on top of the stove
  2. In a heavy bottom pan on medium heat add a knob of butter and drizzle with olive oil.
  3. Add the chopped onion, stirring til soft but not brown.
  4. Add in the garlic and rice, stirring til coated.
  5. Add the white wine and tomatoes, let it all absorb a little.
  6. Toss in the warm broth a ladle full at a time stirring with a wooden spoon until the liquid is absorbed, continue doing this until the rice is cooked but slightly al dente.
  7. You may have some broth leftover, the key is you want your risotto, loose and creamy but of course cooked.
  8. When finished turn off the heat, stir in the grated cheese along with a knob of butter, taste for salt and pepper.
  9. Sprinkle with fresh torn basil.
  10. Enjoy!



Scallop Risotto with Spring Vegetables

scallop risotto

Many people are nervous about making risotto but I’m here to say don’t be! Making risotto is super easy, it just requires your constant attention and a little bit of time.

This scallop risotto is great for springtime entertaining, it’s filled with tender bay scallops, sweet peas, zucchini and the brightness of lemon, it’s elegant and easy to make.

risotto ingredients

When I make risotto I like to have all my ingredients set out, prepped and ready to go, it makes the flow of things go much faster.

making risotto

The scallops are cooked on one side only then, they don’t take long at all, then folded into and finished off in the warm risotto, of course you can substitute any other seafood you like such as shrimp if scallops aren’t your thing.

Bay scallops are the ones used here, they’re smaller and easy to find. No need to use the larger more expensive sea scallops in this dish. The bay scallops are perfect for this risotto, they’re sweet, buttery and delicate and bite size  and with the hint of lemon zest throughout it’s flavor perfection!

scallop risotto

Fold the scallops gently into the cooked risotto reserving some for garnish on top.

scallop risotto

If you haven’t made risotto yet I encourage you to do so, especially this scallop risotto with spring vegetables, I promise you’ll be in love with every decadent bite!

Follow me on Instagram to see what else I’m cooking up during the week.

Scallop Risotto with Spring Vegetables
  • 1 lb. bay scallops, patted dry
  • 1¼ cups short grain arborio rice
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 2 medium zucchini, small diced and precooked in sauté pan with olive oil until golden ( may substitute chopped asparagus)
  • 1 cup peas, frozen or fresh
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1¼ cups shredded Parmigiano Reggiano
  • ¾ cup white wine
  • handful of chopped parsley
  • butter and olive oil
  • zest of 1 lemon
  1. Have all your ingredients ready to go.
  2. Heat all the stock in a separate pan.
  3. Use a heavy bottomed pan to make and stir the risotto in so it doesn't burn.
  4. Add a knob of butter and drizzle olive oil at the bottom of the pan on medium heat.
  5. Add the onions and garlic, stirring to translucent.
  6. Toss in the rice and stir to coat for around 2 to 3 minutes
  7. Add the white wine, stirring until rice absorbs it..
  8. Add stock in 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly until it absorbs, then repeat with another cup of hot stock.
  9. In the meantime, heat a separate sauté pan until hot, add a little butter and toss in the bay scallops, don't turn them, let them cook for 2-3 minutes, set aside.
  10. Keep stirring and repeat adding stock 1 cup at a time until the rice absorbs the liquid and tastes al dente but not crunchy and hard. ( there might be a little stock leftover).
  11. Remove risotto pan from heat, add a tablespoon of butter, lemon zest and all of the grated cheese and stir until combined.
  12. Fold in the cooked zucchini and peas being gentle when tossing and most of the cooked scallops, reserve some for garnish.
  13. Put a lid on for 1 minute, so everything can meld together.
  14. Add chopped parsley and spoon into bowls.
  15. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and the reserved scallops for garnish.
  16. Serve immediately and enjoy!



Springtime Risotto

springtime risotto I know spring is here when I see tender asparagus, early peas and my beloved baby artichokes popping up in the produce aisles. Baby artichokes are so easy to prepare and with a little trimming  you’re able to eat the whole thing, there’s no comparison to the taste and texture of fresh verses frozen, jarred or canned, none at all!

spring time risotto One way I love to showcase them is with risotto, the creamy rice along with the tender veggies are just the perfect combination!

spring risotto ingredients With minimal prep work you can get this on your table in no time and what a treat it is, a one pan wonder in deed. Don’t be intimidated when making risotto it just needs a little nurturing  and constant stirring but you can’t beat the end result!

spring time risotto This meal will make you, your family and your guests very happy!

( You can also follow Proud Italian Cook on Instagram to see what else I’m cooking up during the week )

5.0 from 2 reviews
Springtime Risotto
  • 4 fresh BABY artichokes, trimmed and kept whole
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced into rounds
  • 1 lb. of fresh asparagus, tender and thin, trimmed and cut into thirds or fourths
  • 1 heaping cup of fresh or frozen peas
  • 1 small leek, cleaned and sliced
  • 1½ cups of arborio rice
  • 1 quart of chicken or vegetable stock, warmed and simmering on the stove
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 cup of parmesan cheese, finely shredded
  • handful of parsley
  • 1 tablespoon, butter
  • 2 or so tablespoons of olive oil
  1. Prep veggies ahead of time, for the Baby Artichokes: Snap off the outer leaves until you reach the tender pale yellow green layers, then with a serrated knife trim the tip and stems. You can steam or boil, they take about 15 minutes, I usually boil placing them whole into the water with some lemon slices and a drizzle of olive oil. When finished, let them cool then place them tip side down and cut in half, you now will have 8 artichoke halves.
  2. For the Asparagus, roast on sheet pan at 400, don't let them get brown, it only takes a couple of minutes.
  3. For the Zucchini Rounds, saute in olive oil, medium high heat on top of stove until golden, just a couple of minutes it takes.
  4. Cook Peas accordingly.
  6. Have broth simmering on low heat in separate pan.
  7. In a heavy bottom pan heat olive oil and butter on medium heat, when melted add in the leeks, cooking until soft.
  8. Add in rice, stirring for a few minutes until well coated and hot.
  9. Deglaze with wine, let it cook down for a few seconds.
  10. Add in a ladle full of broth, stirring until it all absorbs.
  11. Continue adding in broth, same way, stirring it and letting it all absorb.
  12. You'll know when it's done because rice mixture will become creamy and tender with just a little bite, you don't want your rice to taste mushy.
  13. Pull off the heat, add in the cheese and stir until incorporated, add a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and gently fold in all the veggies.
  14. Garnish with parsley.




Seafood Risotto


Since it’s the holiday season with Christmas around the corner and New Years right behind I decided to make a seafood risotto with lobster, scallops and shrimp, why not, it’s the holidays and besides, this would be perfect for any special occasion.

Lagostina risotto pot

So I took out my special risotto pot which I got as a gift, it’s made of heavy stainless with a wide bottom, but of course any heavy bottom pot will do. I love making my risotto in it.

seafood risotto ingredients

I got all my ingredients all together, I decided to use Prosecco instead of white wine I thought it would pair well with the seafood and give it an extra special touch.  I wasn’t sure if I was going to use parmesan cheese or not, I normally do in all my risotto’s but after it was done and I tasted it I felt there was no need for it at all so it’s your call on whether or not you want to use some.

Also for the first time in my life I broke down a whole cooked lobster strictly because I wanted those claws for garnish on my risotto, when in doubt watch a YouTube, I did and it was easy to figure out after seeing it, I basically just used the tail and claws.

making seafood risotto

First I got my stock going in a separate pan, I bought some seafood stock and enhanced it with the peeled shrimp shells, after it simmered for a while I strained it real good and I was ready to begin making the risotto.

seafood risotto

When all the stock was absorbed I just folded in my chopped seafood and dinner was good to go!

This was by far one of the best risotto’s I have ever made, creamy and perfectly cooked and very impressive!



4.9 from 109 reviews
Seafood Risotto
  • Serves 2
  • 1 pre-cooked whole lobster using the claws and tail
  • 8 shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 6 large scallops
  • all seafood should be pre-cooked and diced into chunks
  • 1½ quart of seafood stock, either store bought or make your own by simmering water with shrimp and lobster shells, onions, celery, peppercorns and a little thyme, then straining twice.
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 2 large shallots
  • ¾ cup of Prosecco or white wine
  • 1 cup of canned or fresh diced tomatoes, drained of wet liquid
  • parsley
  • olive oil and butter
  1. Cook the shrimp and scallops on a foil lined sheet pan, drizzle seafood with some garlic infused olive oil and a small handful of chopped parsley, roast at 425 degrees until pink and translucent, maybe 10 minutes, let it rest.
  2. Break down your whole lobster tail, removing the shell from the claws so they stay in tact, remove the shell from the tail and cut into chunks, place all the lobster meat into the juices of the cooked shrimp and scallops on the sheet pan.
  3. Place a knob of butter and a good drizzle of olive oil into the bottom of the risotto pot.
  4. Add shallots and cook until they soften.
  5. Add rice, stirring until coated and hot.
  6. Deglaze with the Prosecco or white wine.
  7. When liquid is absorbed then start adding your simmering warm seafood stock, one ladle at a time, stirring until it gets absorbed, then add another ladle full.
  8. Keep flame on medium heat and continue adding warm stock and stirring until absorbed and rice reaches a tender and slightly al dente bite, you'll know when it's ready.
  9. Turn off heat, add another knob of butter, a little olive oil, the drained chopped tomatoes and parsley, then stir to incorporate and finally add in your chopped seafood.
  10. Put the lid on and let it rest for 1 minute.
  11. When plating top each plate with one claw, garnish with more parsley



Dinner Party Worthy, Shrimp and Artichoke Risotto

I made this recently and it was such a big hit I wanted to share!  Succulent tiger shrimp with fresh artichoke hearts, sitting on a bed of creamy risotto.
The flavor was super enhanced by this fabulous roasted garlic olive oil I received from Colavita. I love their olive oils but I never tried their roasted garlic version, all I can say is you need a bottle of this in your kitchen! I had a few fresh artichokes ( you could use frozen, I wouldn’t use canned) that I cut, quartered and steamed, then tossed them into the garlic oil and placed them in a 375 degree oven for 10 minutes, the flavor is addicting!
I did the same thing with the shrimp, tossing them into the roasted garlic oil, sprinkling them with salt, pepper and a little peperoncino. I roasted the shrimp Ina’s way on a baking sheet for 5 or 6 minutes at 400 until the shrimp are cooked through. This method is full proof, cooks perfect every time!
The risotto itself was made with 1 box of chicken stock that was warmed in a pot on my stove and
 1 1/2 cups of arborio rice.
In a heavy bottomed pan heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil, sweat 1/2 diced onion. Add the rice, stirring and coating it with the butter and oil. Saute for a couple of minutes but don’t brown it, then add 1/2 cup of white wine and let it absorb. Add a ladle of hot chicken stock to the rice and let all the liquid absorb, then add another ladle and repeat the process stirring constantly.
I tossed in a handful of frozen peas along the way, added fresh snipped basil and parsley and a touch more butter in the end.
Pour your creamy warm risotto on a nice big platter and lay your roasted artichokes and shrimp all around.
The roasted garlic flavor took the risotto to another level, there wasn’t one grain of rice left!


Lemony Spring Risotto

All things green are the key ingredients in this risotto, baby zucchini, leeks, artichokes, asparagus, chives and peas. One bite and you know spring is here to stay!
The fresh peas and those cute tiny zucchini came courtesy of Trader Joes, the few asparagus and chives came right out of our garden.
Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano and a healthy dose of grated lemon zest highlights all the vegetables and compliments the whole dish!
A cup of peas, 2 small leeks sliced, 4 asparagus spears sliced, 1/2 can of artichokes drained, baby zucchini, precooked ( I did mine for a couple of minutes on a grill pan) snipped chives and the zest from 2 small lemons.
You’ll also need 1 box of chicken or vegetable stock warmed up on the stove and 1 1/2 cups of  arborio rice, 1/4 cup of white wine and 3/4 cup or so of grated Parmigiano Reggiano.
Here’s what you do
Saute your leeks and some of the chives in a combination of olive oil and butter. Add rice and stir until coated then add wine and simmer on low until wine is absorbed. Start adding stock ladle by ladle until all is gone and absorbed. Fold in all your veggies, lemon zest and cheese adding salt and pepper to taste along with more chives for garnish.Enjoy!



Winter Risotto

In case you missed it the other day, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, so according to him we still have 6 more weeks of winter, which means you still have plenty of time to make this warm and earthy risotto.

Any type of winter squash could be used in this recipe such as acorn, pumpkin, delicata and even sweet potatoes, but as I mentioned in my previous post I told you how much I adored butternut squash, so now pair that with spinach and earthy crimini mushrooms and you have the makings of a wonderful and hearty risotto!

I like to have my squash roasted and ready beforehand and towards the end of cooking the risotto I just toss it all in along with sliced mushrooms and fresh torn spinach. Kale would be good as well if you want to replace the spinach.

This easily could be a one pot meal or served as an individual side. Risotto is so easy to mold, while it’s warm it takes on the shape of whatever you place it in, whether it’s a tiny bowl or ramekin, I’ve even used a spring form pan to mold a whole pot of risotto, after it cools slightly you can release the spring and then cut it into wedges.

Here’s the ingredients:

1 1/2 cups of Arborio rice*** 4 cups of chicken or veggie stock, simmering hot on stove*** 2 cloves of minced garlic***1/2 of chopped onion***fresh thyme*** 1/2 cup white wine*** 3 cups of roasted medium diced butternut squash***1 1/2 cups of sliced crimini mushrooms*** 1 large handful of fresh torn baby spinach*** 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese.

Here’s what you do:

In a heavy pot on medium heat, drizzle bottom with olive oil and 1 T of butter, toss in the onion and garlic and saute. Next toss in the rice and season with fresh thyme, salt and pepper, cook rice until you see a light golden color. De glaze with the wine, letting it cook down.

By ladle fulls, start adding stock stirring until it’s absorbed into the rice, keep adding stock and stirring. Towards the end, add in your squash, mushrooms and spinach, gently stirring until all stock is gone. Turn of the heat, toss in your cheese, and a little drizzle more of the olive oil. Taste for salt and pepper.

Enjoy and Buon Appetito!


Risotto Primavera Cake!

I’m beginning to see a trend in my cooking. I’ve noticed I have a fondness for molded foods! No really! Check it out! Here, here, here, here, and here. And now I’m adding this one to my list! I must surely have a problem!!!

I started molding risotto about 10 yrs ago in my green Tupperware Jello mold, you know the one with the whole in the center. I read it somewhere in a magazine many years ago and I thought it was the coolest idea, especially for a dinner party as a side dish, I just liked the idea of cutting off a piece that was all contained, it has a nice presentation.
Believe me I don’t do this all the time, we like our risotto the normal way, slathered on our plates too, but for something a little different and out of the ordinary, you might want to give this a try.

The other thing I like about this is the fact that you can make your risotto the day before, have all that stirring done, and your kitchen cleaned up! Use any combination you like, you know risotto’s a personal thing. Put together the ingredients and flavors you enjoy!
I did a primavera, because I had alot of veggies I wanted to use up. In mine I used zucchini, yellow squash, red and green pepper, mushroom, onions, and pea’s. I added to it, fresh parsley and basil, salt, pepper, and grated romano cheese.

The key here is that you use a little less liquid than normal, so it will have a drier consistency, but still be very moist and creamy. The other thing I do is saute my veggies first in another pan and set aside. I don’t like my veggies overcooked and mushy, so when the risotto is finished absorbing all the liquid, thats when I’ll fold my veggies in.
Grease your mold, here I used a springform pan. Pour your risotto mixture into it, make sure you press it down with the back of a spoon, then wrap in foil and refrigerate it! If you’re making it the same day, still keep it in foil, but bake it in a 400 degree oven for about 30 to 35 min. Let it sit for about 5 min’s, then un mold. You can serve this hot, cold, or at room temperature.

The important things to remember are, for every 1 cup of rice use 2 1/2 cups of stock, and don’t forget to deglaze with a shot of wine, finish it off with a little butter, and the cheese. and don’t forget you’re going to bake it for about a half hour.
Other than that you could use any risotto recipe you like.
Any one else seeing a trend in their posts?
Buon Appetito Everyone!!