• 5 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 6 large Roma tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup, packed, finely shredded fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-reggiano cheese
  • Kosher salt, to taste


In a large saucepan combine the broth, wine, thyme and peppercorns.  Bring to a boil, uncovered.  Reduce to a slow simmer and cook for 20 minutes.  Strain and return to the pot. Keep warm over low heat.

Over medium heat,  heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a heavy pot.  Sauté the shallots, stirring often, for 3 to 4 minutes or until softened. Add the rice and stir to coat well, about 1 minute.

Ladle in enough of the hot stock to just cover the rice.  Cook over medium, stirring constantly, until almost all of the liquid is absorbed.  Adjust the heat so that the rice is cooking, but not boiling rapidly. Repeat the procedure, ladling in broth and stirring until the rice absorbs it, for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the rice is done, but still very firm.  (The rice must be “al dente” and not allowed to overcook and become mushy.)

Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the tomatoes, basil and cheese.  Stir until all of the cheese is melted and the mixture is very creamy.

Season with salt to taste. Serve immediately.

Serves 6 as a first course, or a light main course.