Make your next date night a special one with this amazing restaurant-quality Pesto Cod en Papillote with Tomato Risotto!
Who needs to make reservations for date night when you can prepare an exquisite homemade meal like this Pesto Cod en Papillote with Tomato Risotto? No one, that’s who. Since having a baby, dates night are almost non-existent. We’re working on it! Currently, it consists of putting the baby to bed at 7:00 pm and gobbling down food before falling asleep at 8:00 pm. Sometimes, when we forget how important sleep is, we’ll binge watch a few episodes of The Umbrella Academy. Who else loves that show? We’re almost to the end and don’t want it to stop! Now, on to Cento.
These items really helped bring the dish alive. A small, but crucial, ingredient in the risotto is the Cento Apple Cider Vinegar. The apples for the vinegar are harvested from the Trentino orchards of Val di Non (might have to take a trip to visit these orchards in the future) 😉 There, the apples are exposed to thousands of hours of sunlight, offering the perfect ripening conditions. They’re also produced with unfiltered raw mother intact to ensure the presence of naturally forming, nutrient-rich sediments producing a sweet, delicious flavor. It’s the perfect addition to poultry, pork and salad dishes. You may not think that it would add much to this recipe, but it actually brings a nuance that takes the flavor to another level. Risotto is typically a decidedly heavy dish, and the Cento Apple Cider Vinegar cuts through that richness.
What you probably already know Cento for is their tomatoes. The Cento Organic Italian Kitchen Crushed Tomatoes, Cento Organic Chef’s Diced Tomatoes, and the Cento Organic Whole Peeled Tomatoes are staples that I keep in my pantry at all times. they’re the perfect quick and healthy base for any marinara, salsa or tomato-based soup. My favorite way to make homemade tomato soup is actually with their whole peeled tomatoes instead of fresh! Plus, their aseptic tomatoes are aseptically packed in a recycled box with easy pour tops and are completely BPA free while still maintaining the high quality of the tomato product and the fresh tomato taste. As we all try to reduce our carbon footprint, this is something I wholeheartedly admire.
Since the cod has so few ingredients, the pesto used needs to be very high quality. I have to say, of all the store-bought pesto I have purchased, Cento Organic Pesto Sauce is THE best. It combines the delicious flavors of fresh basil, pine nuts, PDO Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and premium quality extra virgin olive oil for a delicious and versatile sauce. I seriously use this stuff at least once a week, if not more. It’s delicious tossed with pasta, used as a panini spread, or added to your favorite chicken (or fish) dish. Paired with the cod, it’s perfectly subtle without overwhelming its natural flavors.
Learn more about Cento Organics!
- 4 (4-ounce) cod fillets
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ⅓ cup Cento Basil Pesto
- 4 pats butter
- 1 lemon, halved
- Preheat oven to 375ºF.
- Put each fish fillet in a large square of parchment paper and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Spread a heaping spoonful of pesto over the top of the cod and finish with a pat of butter and 1 tbsp of lemon juice. Fold the parchment paper around the edges tightly in ¼-inch folds to create a half moon shape. Make sure you press as you crimp and fold to seal the packets well, otherwise the steam will escape. Arrange the packets on a baking sheet. Bake until the fish is cooked through, about 12-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish. To serve, cut open the packets and serve directly in the parchment on a plate or remove the fish to the plate.
- 7 cups vegetable stock
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ white onion, diced
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 ½ cups Arborio rice
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 17.6 oz container Cento Crushed Tomatoes
- 2 tsp Cento Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- ½ cup Chardonnay
- Additional kosher Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- ¾ cup Cento Diced Tomatoes
- ¼ cup slivered fresh basil
- ¼ to ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Put your stock into a saucepan and bring it to a simmer over low heat.
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat large, heavy saucepan. Add the onion and salt, and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and garlic and cook, stirring, until the grains of rice are separate and beginning to crackle and get toasty. Stir in the crushed tomatoes, vinegar, and thyme and cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes have cooked down slightly and coat the rice, 5 to 10 minutes.
- Add the wine and stir until it has evaporated and been absorbed by the rice. Begin adding the simmering stock, a couple of ladlefuls (about ½ cup) at a time. The stock should just cover the rice and should be bubbling, not too slowly but not too quickly. Cook, stirring often until it is just about absorbed. Add another ladleful or two of the stock and continue to cook in this method, adding more stock and stirring when the rice is almost dry. Stir often and 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.
- Add another ladleful of stock to the rice. Stir in the additional diced tomatoes, basil, and Parmesan and remove from the heat. The mixture should be creamy (add more stock if it isn’t). Serve immediately.
Check out my Creamy Mushroom and Kale Pasta for another Date Night dinner!