Food with JP passion: Rustle up a Risotto

By JP Kennedy

John Paul Kennedy is a self-taught cook and an avid fan of collecting cookery books with a passion for good old-fashioned home cooking. His passion for proper family cooking stems from his TWO Grandmothers who were both excellent cooks, one of whom was a trained chef. JP promises to bring us plenty of family-inspired recipes and tasty treats while showing us how to get the basics right.

This is a new recipe I road tested over the weekend for Saturday supper and as soon as I tucked into it I said this has to be my next recipe blog.

It’s a slightly adapted version of a recipe from Clodagh McKenna’s Irish Kitchen cookbook but a new recipe in my repertoire that I will be making over and over again.

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The sweetness of the tomato and basil comes through along with the caramelised onions, the creaminess of the Arborio rice plus the delicious Irish Mozzarella cheese and the saltiness of the parmesan means this dish really has it all.

It’s a taste of Italy in a bowl with an Irish twist! My brother came for supper when I made this dish and already has an order in for the next time I make it, which I promise will be very soon.

Irish/Italian Tomato & Buffalo Mozzarella Risotto

Ingredients: Serves 4

  • 1 onion finely chopped or two shallots
  • 1 teaspoon of freshly chopped garlic or garlic powder
  • 400g really good quality crushed tomatoes
  • 100ml dry white wine or water if you have no wine to hand
  • 300g Arborio rice (risotto rice)
  • 1 pint of hot vegetable stock
  • 200g fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese
  • 100g freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 10 -12, large basil leaves torn
  • 2 teaspoons of oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

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Method:

1. Heat the oil in medium sized saucepan over a medium heat , I always use my cast iron casserole dish, then add the onions / shallots and garlic and fry until they are translucent – this will take about 3 minutes.

2. Add the rice and mix well until each grain is evenly covered with the onion and oil mixture – allowing the rice to toast a little – this will take about 2 minutes.

3. Pour in the white wine or water (if you have no wine) and then let the rice absorb almost all of it then add the crushed tomatoes and season well.

4. Let it come up to a bubble, then reduce the heat and leave to simmer for about 5 minutes.

5. Add in one third of the stock and once it becomes absorbed fully add more stock and repeat until the rice is cooked – it will look nice, creamy and unctuous!

6. After about 10 minutes gently stir in the mozzarella, parmesan and basil. Once the rice is cooked divide between large bowls and serve with crispy bread to soak up all the sauce!

I’m not going to lie I have already pencilled in the next day I will be making this for supper. Yes, there are a few stages and like any risotto you should never leave it but really its minimal effort for incredibly tasty results. I am really excited about this recipe, I really do hope you will give this a try I promise you it will fast become one of your favourite supper recipes that is just perfect for entertaining. What I love about Italian themed recipes is they use very few ingredients, but it’s important to use good quality ingredients, they always deliver on taste – this is one of those dishes. The Irish twist comes in sourcing good quality Irish mozzarella cheese, which nowadays is readily available in grocery stores and adds to the deliciousness of this incredible dish. I hope you all enjoy it.

Contact JP On:

Twitter: @JPKCooking
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Instagram: jpkennedy.kennedy 

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