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Tomato and Wine Risotto

Arborio or carnaroli rice lends itself to many different kinds of risotto; they are fun to make with wine, broth, a variety of vegetables and seafood. This wine-based risotto with fresh cherry tomato juice is a favorite.



4 ounces pancetta, minced

3 tablespoons Filippo Berio Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 red onion, minced

1 1/2 cups Arborio or carnaroli rice

2 cups dry red wine  (We like Primitivo in this recipe.)

5 cups fresh cherry tomato juice, heated

1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese

1/4 cup minced basil leaves


In a heavy 2-quart saucepan, brown the pancetta until crisp; remove and set aside.

Over medium heat add the oil to the pan and stir in the onion and cook it until it softens.  Stir in the rice, coating all the rice grains with the oil.  Add the wine slowly and cook until it is almost absorbed by the rice, stirring constantly.

Begin adding the tomato juice, a ladleful at a time, and stir until the rice absorbs each addition of the juice.  Continue stirring until the rice is cooked but not mushy.  Stir the cheese and pancetta into the rice.  Serve immediately.


This recipe is featured on show 1813, A Gift of Risotto – Un Regalo di Risotto.


  1. Tammy's avatar


    This was way to bitter for my family's tastes. My 13 year old who loves rice and Italian food wouldn't eat more than a couple of bites. Whether it be so much tomato juice or the extremely tart cheese I don't know. The consistency was good and the basil was wonderful, but with all the time it takes to make risotto I would say to my cooking friends: give this one a miss unless you really like things tangy.
  2. Paul Lally, Executive producer's avatar

    Paul Lally, Executive producer

    Sorry it didn't work out for you, Tammy, especially after all that work. Tell us what kind of wine and what kind of cheese you used. Asiago is a mild, melting cheese. And dry red wine is generally not bitter. The tomato juice may have been the culprit by being too acidic. In that case, a tablespoon of sugar would have tempered it.

    Thanks for writing.

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