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Risotto Caprese with Tomato, Mozarella and Basil (Gennaro Contaldo)

Ever since my trip to the Po Valley with Riso Gallo to understand more about how rice and other grains are produced in Italy, I have been obsessed with perfecting my risotto-making technique. During our visit, we ate in some truly memorable restaurants, sampling different grains and flavours of risotto, a particular highlight being a very simple aged-risotto grain, cooked with olive oil, butter and Parmesan cheese and adored with spring truffles.

Since then, making a risotto has become a weekly activity – in part prompted by the fact that all three of our children unanimously love risotto and so it’s one of the few meals that doesn’t have to be messed around with. It’s also a great, store-cupboard staple recipe. There are plenty of recipes here that you can make at home.

Of all the risotto recipe I have tried, this one, found in Gennaro Contaldo’s Fast Cook Italian is our winner – it is a Risotto Caprese – based on the flavours of the classic Caprese Salad of Tomato, Mozarella and Basil.

Contrary to the popular belief that making a risotto is time-consuming and labour intensive, you can have dinner on the table in around 25 minutes with this recipe.

I love the fact that Gennaro’s recipes are always easy to throw together and very family friendly.

Published with the permission of Pavilion Books.

Risotto Caprese - Risotto with Tomato, Mozarella and Basil

Risotto Caprese - Risotto with Tomato, Mozarella and Basil

Gennaro Contaldo
The ingredients for this risotto are taken from the classic Caprese salad – tomatoes, mozzarella and basil. Simple to make and extremely tasty, it’s often my go-to midweek meal for the family - Gennaro Contaldo 
4.80 from 5 votes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4


  • 40 g/1½ oz/2 generous tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 2 handfuls of basil leaves
  • 260 g/9¼ oz cherry tomatoes quartered
  • 320 g/11¼ oz/1¾ cups risotto Arborio rice
  • 100 ml/3½ fl oz/7 tbsp white wine
  • 1.5 litres/52 fl oz/6½ cups hot vegetable stock bouillon
  • 200 g/7 oz mozzarella cut into small cubes
  • 30 g/1 oz/1/3 cup grated Parmesan


  • Heat 20 g/¾ oz/1 generous tablespoon of butter and the olive oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan set over a medium heat. Add the onion and a couple of the basil leaves and sweat for 2 minutes.
  • Stir in the tomatoes and continue to sweat for 1 minute. Stir in the rice, making sure each grain is coated in oil. Add the wine and cook until the rice has absorbed it.
  • Then add a couple of ladles of hot stock, stirring with a wooden spoon until the rice has absorbed it all. Add a couple more ladles of stock and continue to cook in this way, stirring and adding more stock, for 17–20 minutes, until the risotto is cooked al dente.
  • Remove from the heat and add the remaining butter and mozzarella, stirring well until it has nicely melted into the risotto.
  • Stir in the grated Parmesan and remaining basil leaves and serve immediately.

Photography Kim Lightbody. 

Gennaro’s Fast Cook Italian 

From Fridge to fork in 40 minutes or less

ISBN: 9781911595113

Price: £20.00

Publication date: 5 April 2018

Fast Cook Italian Gennaro COntaldo

Other risotto posts you may like:

Quick Risotto-Stuffed Vegetables 

3 Grains: Rice, Spelt and Barley Risotto with Chicken and Dill 

Sausage and Courgette Risotto  

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  1. 5 stars
    So delicious even my husband ate it and there was no meat in it! haha he loved it too.

  2. 5 stars
    Really not into mozarella so I thought I’d just take a quick look but I ended up checking everything. I had tried cooking similar stuff before and that online delivery service, Feast Box, really helped me out try some ingredients that are hard to find like some listed above. Anyway, will forward this page to a couple of friends who are starting to get fond of cooking!

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