Risotto with Radicchio di Treviso in red wine
INGREDIENTS (x 4 persons):
- - 2-3 shallots, finely chopped
- - extra virgin olive oil
- - 1 glass of dry rich red wine
- - 1 liter of hot vegetable or chicken stock
- - 2 large bunches of ‘Radicchio di Treviso’
- - 320 g of risotto rice (Vialone Nano or Carnaroli type)
- - 40 g of unsalted butter
- - salt, ground pepper
- - 1 rich handful of freshly grated Parmesan
WHAT TO DO:
- 1. As a first step, chop the Radicchio into small pieces after taking off the woody stalks. Wash the Radicchio in cold water.
- 2. In a deep, heavy-based saucepan, sweat the shallots in olive oil plus 10-20g of butter over a low heat, until they get soft and slightly brown. Add the vegetables with the wine and a pinch of salt. Let them steam until soft and tender, covered by a lid. It will take you around 15-20 min in total. In the meanwhile get ready with the stock to prepare the risotto in a separate saucepan.
- 3. When the risotto base is ready, add the rice. Cook over a medium-high heat for few minutes to toast the rice. Then add 1 or 2 spoons of stock, cover the rice, mix and put the fire low. Keep on adding the stock and stirring. Never let the risotto base absorb all the stock. Continue this way for about 20 min until the rice is soft, tender and creamy while the rise is still firm in the centre.
- 4. Before serving, add the remaining butter, some fresh ground pepper and some Parmesan, stir and let it rest for few minutes out of the heat. Serve it on large plates, grate some extra Parmesan on top, as well as some ground pepper.
TIPS & TRICKS:
- - The Veneto region in the north east of Italy is famous for one type of red radicchio – radicchio di Treviso – that’s so prized it was granted IGP (protected geographical indication) status by the European Union.
- - Radicchio di Treviso resembles a large Belgian endive. The one that comes at the beginning of the growing season is called precoce, and although it’s a bit prettier to look at it doesn’t have the pronounced (and favored) bitter flavor of the one that comes later in the season, called tardivo. You’re likely to see radicchio in the markets in Italy starting in the late fall and then throughout the winter. Abroad you can find it only in special greengroceries and, unfortunately, at a higher price than in Italy…but it is worthwhile! If you happen to live in London you are lucky – there is a vegetable store in Chiswick that offers it, among other rare Italian vegetables. It is worth a visit and close to the Turnham Green tube station.
- - To shorten the procedure, substitute the chicken or vegetable stock with stock cubes in hot boiling water to have a quickly-made bouillon.