Big Night Risotto (or Tomato Herb Risotto)

My very first post for the now retired Food ‘n Flix group was with Big Night.   I’m not going to post my thoughts about the movie again;  I’m just going to direct you over to that original post where I gush about the movie.

Ten years later and Food ‘n Flix is gone but Movies & Munchies carries on.  Wendy (A Day in the Life of a Farm) is hosting Big Night for the August feature film.  You can read her announcement post here.

I’m making risotto again.

I couldn’t help myself.


Big Night Risotto

Based on Tomato and Herb Risotto

Not a classic version but hopefully Primo would approve.


  • 7 c. vegetable stock
  • 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 c. minced red onion
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 (15 oz.) can good quality crushed tomatoes
  • pinch of sugar
  • 1 t. fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 1/2 c. Arborio rice
  • salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 c. chardonnay
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/4 c. fresh basil, slivered
  • 1/4 to 1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Put stock or broth into a saucepan and bring it to a simmer over low heat.  Keep a ladle nearby.
  2. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a wide, heavy skillet or a wide, heavy saucepan. Add the onion and a generous pinch of salt, and cook gently until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and garlic and cook, stirring, until the grains of rice are separate and beginning to crackle. Stir in the tomatoes, sugar, thyme, and salt to taste and cook, stirring often, about 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Add the wine and stir until it has evaporated and been absorbed by the rice. Begin adding the simmering stock, about 1/2 cup at a time. The stock should just cover the rice.  Cook, stirring often, until it is just about absorbed. Add another ladleful or two of the stock and continue to cook, adding more stock and stirring when the rice is almost dry. You do not have to stir constantly, but stir often and when you do, stir vigorously. When the rice is just tender all the way through but still chewy (al dente), in 20 to 25 minutes, it is done. Taste now and adjust seasoning.
  4. Add another ladleful of stock to the rice. Stir in the cherry  tomatoes, basil and Parmesan and remove from the heat. The mixture should be creamy (add more stock if it isn’t). Serve right away.

Yield: 4

I still love this film and I love that I was able to find this risotto recipe.  It’s a keeper for certain.

In May, Cook the Books hosted Taste:  My Life Through Food by Stanley Tucci.  Reading that book also gave me new insight and appreciation for Big Night.  If you have not seen this film (or read Taste), you must do so as soon as you are able.

If you don’t have time to join the Movies & Munchies members in August, you can join us in September when Culinary Cam is hosting Antique.  (There will be an announcement post the first of September on her site.)

Postscript:  I had this scheduled to post but thought I had time to make said risotto, eat it, and take photos.  Apparently not.  I came home after a super busy day at work and found comment after comment posted here.  Oops!  I immediately emailedWendy  to wait for a photo.   The original recipe called for shallots and rose wine.  Having none, I subbed in chardonnay and red onion.  I still love this recipe.  Here’s to less chaotic times….  🙂

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