Student food blog: Meatball and tomato risotto

Sophie Edmonds
Sophie Edmonds

Wow, I do believe that this is the first time I have used beef mince in a recipe here. To be honest, since starting this blog we haven't actually eaten any beef mince.

We had no time to do the food shop on Sunday night, we also had no money in the account, so we had to make do with what we had for Monday night's dinner.

Luckily, we had some beef mince in the freezer, a few tins of tomatoes and enough arborio risotto rice to make this dinner.  I used to make this heaps before I discovered the pea risotto recipe that I posted a few weeks ago.

Oh boy, did I realise how much I had missed it once we ate it. It takes about an hour to make, most of that time spent stirring the risotto rather than in the preparation.

I cooked my meatballs in the oven rather than the frying pan. That way I could get on with making the risotto while they cooked. They also don't fall apart, as they tend to in the frying pan. Just make sure you don't overcook them, otherwise they end up on the dry side.

This recipe calls for parmesan cheese but once again I mostly substituted it with Edam and put just a sprinkling on the top once I had served it up. The Edam melts better and I find gives it a creamier texture and taste.

Let's get to it, shall we?

Meatball and tomato risotto
Serves 5

- Meatballs
500g beef mince
1 egg
1 small onion, finely diced
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
salt and pepper to taste

- Risotto
5 cups beef stock
2 tins chopped tomatoes
2 Tbsp cooking oil
1 onion, finely diced
3 cloves of garlic
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup grated parmesan (or 3/4 cup grated Edam)
Fresh parsley to garnish
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 180degC.

Mix together the meatball ingredients. Take small portions and roll into balls. Place meatballs on to a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake for 15 minutes or until cooked through.

Heat the stock and tomatoes in a saucepan and bring to a simmer.

In a large saucepan, fry the onion and garlic in the oil until translucent, not brown. Add the rice and toast for a few minutes.

Add the tomato and beef stock one cup at a time, stirring between each addition, making sure the liquid has been absorbed before adding the next cup. Make sure you keep stirring so that it does not catch on the bottom of the pan.

Keep adding the stock and tomatoes until it has all been absorbed and the rice is al dente and creamy. Next add the cheese and the meatballs.

Stir to cover so that the meatballs heat through and the cheese melts.

Serve with a grating of more parmesan, parsley and salt and pepper.

This was super-easy to whip up for dinner and was well worth the constant stirring. I hope you give it a go, it is a nice change from the typical beef mince dishes.


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