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Angela's Italian and Sicilian Recipes
Risotto with Tomatoes and Smoked Mozzarella
Risotto with Tomatoes and Smoked Mozzarella
(Risotto ai Pomodori e Mozzarella Affumicata)

For the Sauce:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large garlic clove, peeled and lightly crushed
2 cups canned Italian plum tomatoes with their juice, put through a food mill to remove seeds
2 ounces smoked mozzarella, grated

For the Risotto:
4 to 5 cups basic chicken broth
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup finely minced yellow onion
2 cups imported Arborio rice or other rice for risotto
1/2 dry white wine
Salt if needed
Prepare the Sauce:
Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
Add the garlic and cook until it is golden on all sides.

Discard the garlic, add the tomatoes, and simmer for 6 to 7 minutes.
Add the mozzarella, stir for less than 1 minute, and turn the heat off under the skillet. (Makes approximately 1 and 1/2 cups of sauce.)

Prepare the Risotto:
Heat the broth in a medium saucepan and keep warm over low heat.

Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
When the butter foams, add the onion and cook, stirring, until the onion is pale yellow and soft, 4 to 5 minutes.

Add the rice and stir quickly until it is well coated with the butter and onion, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the wine and cook until it is almost all reduced.

Add 1/2 cup of the simmering broth or just enough to barely cover the rice.
Cook, stirring, until the broth has been absorbed almost completely.
Continue cooking and stirring the rice in this manner, adding the broth, 1/2 cup or so, at a time for 12 to 13 minutes.

Now add a small ladle of the sauce and cook, stirring, until the sauce has been absorbed.

Keep cooking the rice, adding the sauce a little at a time, until all the sauce has been used up and the rice has a moist, creamy consistency, about 5 minutes.

Taste, adjust the seasoning, and serve.

Note: This risotto doesn't need Parmigiano cheese or butter added at the last moment, since the mozzarella binds the rice. Keep in mind that smoked mozzarella is quite salty, and very probably this risotto will not need additional salt. Serves 4 to 6.
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