4 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb box uncooked Arborio rice
8 ounces white wine
4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon chopped Parsley
salt and pepper to taste
14.5oz can petite cut tomatoes in juice

1. Melt the butter and add olive oil in a large casserole or skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and the rice, stir constantly for 2 minutes. Add the white wine and stir until completely absorbed.
2. Add the chicken broth 1 cup at a time, stirring frequently. Wait until each addition is almost completely absorbed before adding the next. When the rice has cooked for 15 minutes and most of the liquid has been incorporated, add the tomatoes along with the end of the broth. Cook, stirring frequently, until the rice is tender but still slightly chewy.
3. The risotto should take 18 to 20 minutes of cooking all together. Stir in the Parmesan cheese, most of the basil, parsley and salt and pepper. Spoon the risotto immediately onto plates, top with the remaining basil and serve.
4. ENJOY – Big and long grained rice, risottO tastes so nice!

Life is short; that much we know. In the year 2007, I turned 50 years old. For myself and many other people is a turning point in life. There are certain things we would like to accomplish in our lifetimes before we pass away. I have a dream; two dreams actually. I would like to take two trips; one to Japan and one to Italy.

At the beginning of 2006, I started to plan a trip to Italy for my husband, my younger daughter and myself with friends of ours. Our friends have been to Italy a few times before, and we have been saying for years that when our daughters are in their last year of high school, we should go to Italy together. Their daughter Katie and our daughter Mia have been friends since they were about three years old. As we started to put together the trip, airfares, hotels and expenses, we realized this trip was too expensive for the three of us. I didn’t want to take this opportunity from my daughter, and my friends really wanted Mia to go with them as company for their daughter. At the end of June through the beginning of July, Mia spent ten days in Italy on the trip of a lifetime. Our friends took such good care of her, and I knew our friend, Eddie, Katie’s dad, would not let the girls out of his sight. Mia called almost every night. I think she felt bad that we couldn’t all go together. Her phone calls home every day were minute-by-minute details of her trip as related to us. My husband would get on the extension and she would narrate everything she did and saw that day. Rome, Florence, Milan and Stresa were seen by Mia and shared with us. What I was most interested in was the food. Where did she eat, what was she eating and so on. The food in Italy is fantastic from what I heard. Mia took it one step further and started to photograph her meals and the markets for me. She came home with over 400 photos and a love of Italy. After all her name is Italian, Mia Dominique.

At most of the dinners, Mia didn’t get past the appetizer of risotto or pasta. That was enough for her. So, when she returned, I wanted to continue to give her the flavor of Italy here in her home in New York. She loved this risotto dish and so did we, and this risotto dish will now become a family favorite.

Maybe I didn’t get to Italy yet, but I got the next best thing, my daughter got to live my dream for me. I couldn’t be happier than if I went myself.

Note: I did finally get to Italy, but that is another story!

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