Instagram is filled with people getting free stuff. Recently, I was delighted to be one of those people. Even more delightful that the brand doing the giving was one I have been praising for ages: Mutti.
Mutti is an Italian brand specialising in high quality tomato products. My personal fave to this point had been their tomato paste which – apart from being rich and tasty – came in the most photogenic, old school metal tubes. [See photos]
Over on the Mutti Instagram they put out the call for someone to come up with a recipe that showcased another of their products, Mutti Polpa, probably my new favourite. Perfectly crushed, carefully selected, ripe tomatoes. Where have you been all my life?! I can’t even tell you how much it ruins my day to open a tin of supposedly ‘crushed’ tomatoes for it to be half full of lumps and – *gasps* – stalky white bits. Yuk!
Now, there was a catch to this Mutti generosity. Show off the tomatoes, yeah, yeah. Too easy, you say. What if they had to be combined with another ingredient? Like, oysters?
I don’t often associate oysters and red sauce or even Italian cooking, for that matter… but I do love winning things. After some racking of the old noggin’, inspiration struck. If mussels can sit snuggly in a bed of rice and call themselves paella, then why couldn’t oysters cozy up to some arborio and call it a risotto?
The people over at Mutti liked my idea so much they sent me a whole box of goodies to get started. (Not the oysters, of course, they travel about as well as a preschooler who insisted on having the adult sized milkshake.)
Enter, my with oysters and basil drizzle. Here’s the recipe for you all to enjoy and I highly recommend you try the Mutti brand. I even asked my Italian friends and they gave it a resounding si!
Mutti Polpa Oyster Risotto
Serves 4 people
- 1 glass white wine.
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced plus one extra
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs
- 1 can Mutti Polpa finely chopped tomatoes
- 1 litre chicken stock
- 2 cups arborio rice
- 1 tablespoon Mutti tomato paste
- 6-12 fresh oysters in their shells
- 1 packet lightly dried basil or 2 tablespoons fresh basil chopped super fine
- 1 cup grated parmesan (I know this breaks a cardinal rule about cheese and seafood pasta!)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Pour yourself a glass of wine – this is one of those recipes that requires a lot of standing by the stove and stirring.
- In a large sautée pan, or similar, cook the onion and garlic on medium in a little of the olive oil until fragrant.
- Warm the chicken stock adding the herbs and tomato paste then remove from heat.
- To the pan, add the rice and stir for a minute until all of the grains are coated.
- Add the entire can of tomatoes and stir well.
- Once the mixture has warmed through, add a ladle of the warm stock and keep stirring. The key to a great risotto is constant stirring.
- Each time the liquid is absorbed, add another ladle of stock. Remember to keep stirring.
- While that’s happening, in a small bowl combine the basil, extra crushed garlic clove and remaining olive oil. Leave this to turn a verdant green.
- Once you’ve run out of stock, check if the grains of rice are cooked. If they aren’t, add small amounts of water and keep stirring until done. The process will take at least 30 mins. I didn’t time it exactly.
- When the rice is ready, stir through most of the parmesan cheese.
- Arrange the oysters on top and cook for an additional five minutes until they become firm and visibly more opaque. If you have a lid for your pan you may wish to cover it at this point.
- To finish, sprinkle over some more parmesan and a generous drizzle of the basil mixture onto each oyster.
This recipe is loosely based on one that appeared on the Woolworths supermarket website