11 Apr 2014

carla’s tuna and tomato oven risotto


Here is a dish that, as delicious and colourful and filling and wonderful as it is, you will never see on a café or restaurant menu.

 
Why? Because it’s made with tinned tuna. A tin of tuna is the stuff of home cooks; of mid-week fishcakes made with leftover mashed potato, of creamy, cheesy macaroni tuna mornay. Simple, un-starry meals; cheap and cheerful; and undeniably nostalgic and comforting.
 
So as the days get shorter and cooler, one craves something ever-so-slightly more substantial than a salad. This is it: oven-baked risotto. Before you think ‘stodge’, let me tell you this is lightened by green polka-dot peas and grated zucchini, the last of the season. And a luscious topping of almost-last of the season tomatoes, juicy and vibrant.
 
And of course, tinned tuna.


Carla’s tuna and tomato oven risotto
Adapted from Carla’s recipe; I halved her original quantity for four modest servings, and added zucchini. I’ve since made it without following quantities too strictly at all; as long as you get the water-to-rice ratio okay (and you can easily remedy that if you don’t), risotto is pretty accommodating.

First, some prep:
  • Bring 250 mls vegie stock and 250 mls water to simmer. Have a kettle of boiled water on standby, in case you need to add more during the cooking process.
  • Take a generous half cup of frozen peas and allow to thaw out (you can zap in microwave or pour boiling water over them, as I did).
  • Grate some zucchini, about a cup’s worth (don’t get too hung about the quantity).
  • And roughly chop some tomatoes, enough to cover the surface of the baking dish you’re going to use (probably three or four, depending too on the size of your tomatoes).
  • While we're at it, dice half a large onion (or a medium one!) and crush three or four garlic cloves (or to your taste).
Now get cooking:
  • Preheat your oven to 180.
  • Melt a small wodge of butter and a slosh of olive oil and gently cook the onion and garlic until soft and translucent.
  • Add ¾ cups arborio rice and stir around to toast for a few minutes.
  • Add hot stock and two 95 gm tins of good quality tuna in oil that you’ve drained.
  • Transfer the risotto to a large baking dish and cover with foil. Pop in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Remove from oven, remove the foil (if it’s looking a bit dry, add some hot water from the kettle), and bake for another 20 minutes.
  • Remove from oven, stir thru the peas and zucchini (again, if it’s looking a bit dry, add some hot water), top with the tomatoes and drizzle with a little olive oil. Bake for another 20 minutes or until rice is tender.
  • Remove from oven, and serve with a good squeeze of lemon juice, some capers, and some basil. Enjoy.

14 comments:

  1. I like that you use words like 'wodge'. Keep up the good work. And that looks so yummy and easy!

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    1. yummy and easy - spot on!
      and i think everyone knows exactly what i mean by 'wodge', don't you?! thank you maya.

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  2. Tinned tuna is delicious, Elizabeth. Pairs very well with tomatoes!

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    1. it does, lizzy - very classic pairing!

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  3. This sounds like a great recipe e. Tinned tuna is such a handy pantry staple isn't it? I like the idea of oven risotto, I have never made particularly memorable stove top risotto. Popping the whole thing in the oven sounds much easier. Happy cooking x

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    1. i like an oven risotto best of all, jane; it makes for a very successful dish. and much easier time-wise too.
      happy cooking to you too jane!

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  4. Oh thanks for sharing my recipe! Glad you enjoyed it. I had a chuckle at the stodge comment, I wondered that myself but it is surprisingly delicious and fresh tasting. My Jessie who is ridiculously fussy eater at times will eat bowl fulls of this xx it's on the weekly meal plan a little more often than i'd like it to be to be honest lol!!!

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    1. i've been making this regularly since discovering your recipe carla - so thank YOU! nothing wrong with repetition if it works :-)

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  5. We love using tuna in family meals. It is so handy to have a tin in the pantry. I admit that I am yet to try baked risotto it sounds much easier than stirring, stirring, stirring. I may miss the compulsory glass of wine to assist the stirring process but that may not be a bad thing :-)

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    1. hello kyrstie, sorry for late reply! was enjoying computer-free time off for easter :-)
      i never make 'normal' risotto anymore - these oven ones are a doddle. and i'm sure you can still enjoy a glass of wine while you do the pre-oven prep!

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  6. Tinned tuna is one thing we always keep in the kitchen cupboard, its so versatile and quick (despite being attacked by cats if we open a tin!). This looks utterly beautiful!

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    1. thank you hannah!
      the cats are onto a good thing! actually, all the dogs i've ever know have loved the stuff as well.

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  7. Tinned tuna is my go-to for lazy work lunches.I rarely use it for other home cooking but this oven risotto looks great!

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    1. it really is, leaf! it may convince you you to enjoy tuna at home :-)

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Word-verification is on, as the robot-spammers are loving my tuna past bake too much at the moment! I hope you understand - and I hope you'll still leave a comment at Dig In. I love hearing your thoughts, knowing someone is reading, and will always reply. Unless you're a robot-spammer.