Spinach Risotto Cakes with Walnut Crust and Savory Tomato-Wine Sauce


2 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 ½ c Arborio rice
¾ c dry white wine
4 c chopped fresh spinach leaves
½ c freshly grated Parmesan
   cheese, plus more for
freshly ground black pepper
5-7 c vegetable broth
3 large eggs
2 c fresh bread crumbs
2/3 c toasted walnuts, finely

Savory tomato sauce (topping)

Sauté 1/2 cup onions and 2 cloves chopped garlic. Mix with 1 large can tomatoes, 1/2 cup Sonata wine, salt and pepper. Puree in food processor. Serve warm as a sauce for the risotto cakes.

Sonata is a dry red wine.


1. Make the risotto ahead: Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.2

. Stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, add the rice and cook for 1 minute.
3. Add the wine and cook, stirring often, until the wine nearly evaporates, about 2 minutes.
4. Add 1 cup of the hot broth and cook, stirring often, until the rice absorbs the liquid.
5. Continue adding the hot broth in ¾-cup increments and stirring often until the rice is nearly tender, about 20 minutes.
6. Stir in the spinach and continue to add broth as necessary until the rice is creamy (not soupy) and soft but still a bit al dente, about 5 minutes.

7. Remove from the saucepan and stir in the cheese. Adjust the seasonings, adding salt and pepper to taste. Chill at least 4 hours or overnight.

8. Make the cakes: Move an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 425°.
9. Brush the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over a large rimmed baking sheet.
10. With a fork, lightly beat the eggs in a shallow bowl.
11. Combine the bread crumbs and walnuts in a second shallow bowl.
12. Shape ¼ cup of the chilled risotto into a 3-inch round. Dip the risotto cake into the eggs and then into the breadcrumb mixture. Shake off the excess bread crumb mixture and place the breaded risotto cake on the oiled baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining risotto to make a total of 12 risotto cakes.

13. Bake the risotto cakes, turning them once, until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve immediately.