I can’t even count the number of times I’ve ordered risotto at a restaurant or even had it at home cooked by my wife or others. As crazy as it sounds, I’ve never actually made it myself. I think I’ve often discounted it as being annoying or hard to make, when in fact it is quite easy, so long as you pay close attention and like to stir.
Last night I cooked for my wife and her cousin, trying out some recipes I had not made before as well as my mom’s famous blueberry pie. Rather that crowd this entry with multiple recipes, I decided to break it up. This entry will include the Red Wine and Radicchio Risotto, and following that will be a hot white bean and tomato side dish and then finally a quick mussels dish with white wine.
This risotto comes from Mario Batali’s book Simple Italian Food. The recipe doesn’t call for anything exotic or that you can’t find at your grocery store, so don’t worry. The only change I made was to use fresh grated parmesan reggiano instead of asiago cheese. I suspect the difference is negligible.
Here is what you do.
Serves 4 (generous portions)
~3 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 medium spanish onion, cut into 1/4″ dice
2 cups arborio rice
2 cups dry red wine (such as shiraz or cabernet sauvignon)
1 head radicchio, cored and thinly sliced (2 cups)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan Reggiano
1/2 stick butter (4 tablespoons)
salt and pepper to taste
In a medium sauce pan heat the chicken stock and then let simmer on a back burner.
In a large skillet or dutch oven (my preference), heat the olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add onion and cook for 8-10 minutes, until soft.
Add rice and stir with a wooden spoon until the rice is toasted and opaque, about 3 minutes. Add wine and continue cooking over medium heat until liquid is absorbed (a trick to testing if liquid is absorbed is to move the spoon along the bottom of the dish through the center and if you don’t see liquid filling the gap, its absorbed).
Add the warm stock one ladle at a time waiting until stock is completely absorbed before adding the next ladle. Stir risotto between each addition to incorporate. Continue adding stock until risotto is cooked and creamy in texture.
Stir in radicchio, butter, cheese and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately. Enjoy!!