Recipe: 20-Minute Fresh Tomato Risotto

updated Feb 3, 2020
20-Minute Fresh Tomato Risotto
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(Image credit: Brie Passano)

Twenty minutes might feel like a bit of gimmick when it comes to pulling off a really good risotto, but not when the pressure cooker is involved. This recipe brings together the familiar culinary partners of tomatoes and rice to create a creamy main dish that still tastes like summer. To ensure the essence of tomato is evident in every spoonful, we use grated tomatoes as the primary liquid, creating a fresh-tasting risotto stained a pretty shade of pink.

For Great Tomato Risotto, Grate the Tomatoes

The key to this pressure-cooker risotto is grating the juiciest, ripest tomatoes. Hand-grating tomatoes is standard practice in the Mediterranean, and for good reason.

To grate a tomato, put the whole, washed tomato in your hand and scrape against the widest grates of a box grater, moving the tomato around as you mush and squish and grate into a big bowl. You will end up with the tastiest, freshest pulp, the juiciest juice, and yes, some seeds. It’s all ready to use, and the best part is that the skin will stay in your hand, so you never have to worry about peeling.

If you use a food processor, the skin (mostly) remains above the grating plate and not in the grated tomato mixture in the bowl, which saves a step and a little arm work.

(Image credit: Brie Passano)

No pressure cooker? If you don’t have a pressure cooker, but you do have just a little bit more time, you can make this risotto the classic way:

Your Fast Tomato Fix

Tomato season is here today and gone tomorrow so we’re making sure to get our fill with recipes that come together to show off tomatoes of every shape, size, and color as fast as possible. The five recipes in this series will help you get your tomato fix in as little as one minute flat!

20-Minute Fresh Tomato Risotto

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info


  • 2 3/4 pounds

    plum or Roma tomatoes (about 9 or 10)

  • 1/4 cup

    extra-virgin olive oil

  • 4

    medium shallots, peeled and finely diced

  • 2 cups

    Arborio, Carnaroli, or Vialone Nano rice

  • 1 cup

    dry vermouth or dry white wine, at room temperature

  • 2 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • 3 cloves

    garlic, peeled and grated

  • 2 teaspoons

    kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground white pepper

  • 1/2 cup

    finely grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1/4 cup

    mascarpone cheese (optional)


  1. Using the large holes of a box grater set over a large bowl, or a food processor fitted with a grating blade, grate the whole tomatoes. (You should have about 4 to 4 1/4 cups of tomato pulp, seeds, and juice.) Discard the peels.

  2. If using an electric pressure cooker, heat it to its brown or sauté setting (whichever is hotter). If using a stovetop pressure cooker, place the uncovered pot over medium heat. Add the oil and heat until it just begins to shimmer. Add the shallots, mix well, and cook until softened and the edges begin to brown, 3 to 4 minutes.

  3. Add the rice, mix well to coat, and cook until lightly toasted, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the grated tomatoes, vermouth or wine, butter, garlic, salt, and pepper; mix well; and cook 1 minute.

  4. Cover the pressure cooker and lock the lid. Bring up to pressure. Cook on LOW pressure for 7 minutes for al dente, and 8 minutes for softer rice.

  5. Turn off the heat if using a stovetop pressure cooker. Depressurize according to the manufacturer's instructions. Remove the lid. If using a stovetop pressure cooker, return it to medium heat. If using an electric pressure cooker, turn on to WARM.

  6. Mix the risotto to combine. Add the Parmesan cheese and mix until completely incorporated and creamy. Add the mascarpone, if using, and mix until completely combined and heated through. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

Risotto rice: The best risotto rice is short- to medium-grain and full of starch. Arborio, Carnaroli, or Vialone Nano are three popular types of risotto rice; here's a primer so you can read up on the differences.

Storage: Risotto is best eaten immediately, but leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat on the stovetop over low heat, adding a little water to loosen it up.

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