Risotto alle Melanzane

Risotto alle Melanzane

A risotto that brings together 2 bountiful summer veggies, eggplant and tomatoes. Easy to make and delicious, a perfect combination. If time allows, make your own tomato pulp. After all, summer tomatoes are plentiful and bursting with flavor.

Yield: 4 servings

Time: 60 minutes


  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium-sized eggplants, cut into 1 inch (2,5 cm) dices
  • 3 fat garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 large shallot, finely minced
  • 1 cup (230 g) canned tomato pulp
  • 1 cup (200 g) carnaroli rice
  • 4 cups (1 L) vegetable stock
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese plus more for serving
  • salt and fresh pepper to taste
  • basil leaves for garnish


Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the eggplant dices and cook turning the dices until all sides are nicely browned, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, salt and pepper. Cook for about 1 minute longer or until fragrant. Remove eggplant from the skillet and set aside on a plate. Keep it warm.

While the eggplants are cooking, bring the veggie stock to a simmer. Keep it simmering over low heat.

Wipe the skillet clean with kitchen paper. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and cook the shallot over medium heat for about 3 minutes or until translucent. Add 1/2 cup (115 g) of the tomato pulp and cook for 3 minutes longer. Taste for salt and pepper. Add the rice and stir well until the rice is thoroughly coated with the tomato pulp. Add 1 cup (240 ml) of vegetable stock to the rice and tomato mix. The stock should cover the rice and bubbling gently. If it bubbles too strongly, lower the heat. When the stock is nearly absorbed, add another cup of stock. Continue adding in 1 cup increments and stirring until all stock is used up and rice is cooked through, about 30 minutes.

Add the remaining 1/2 cup (115 g) tomato pulp and mix well. Rice should be “al dente” and creamy. Remove risotto from the heat. Add 1 tablespoon butter, the 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese and the eggplant dices. Continue cooking for a few minutes longer or until eggplants and risotto are warmed up, if necessary. Adjust seasonings.

Serve immediately with extra Parmesan cheese on the side. Garnish with basil leaves.

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