Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Risotto al Radicchio

Radicchio is a typical italian vegetable of chicory family, its spicy, tangy taste gets milder as it is cooked with wine, onion and carrot. It makes one of the classic, most loved variation of risotto. I personally like to use the red wine, instead of white to compliment the bright red-purple colour of radicchio, also it seems to bring out the tangier, deeper flavour. You can use the ready made bouillon mix to make the broth, but when it's possible do try with the "real" broth after cooking a roast etc., you will get a risotto with decidedly better flavour and texture!

Risotto al radicchio (Veneto, + northern region in general)

For 2-3 people
-1 cup of carnaroli rice (if you can't find it arborio is fine, but carnaroli is the ideal type for making risotto)
-One big onion, finely chopped*
-One carrot, finely chopped*
(I usually put these two in a food processor)
-1 small radicchio or half of one in larger size (ideally radicchio di treviso) finely shredded
-50g (or more if needed) butter
-1 bayleaf
-100ml red wine
-500-700ml of hot good quality broth
-freshly ground parmigiano (or grana padano)

In a large skillet sautè the onion, carrot and radicchio with butter over middle heat until tender.
Add the rice and continue to cook, stirring thoroughly, until rice becomes semi-transparent.
Add the bayleaf and wine, raise the heat level and bring to boil.
When the wine is almost absorbed, start adding the broth one ladleful at a time, adding another ladleful when the previous batch of broth is well absorbed (but the rice should still remain wet), stirring constantly.
Keep the broth hot by keeping it in a saucepan on a low heat, or microwaving from time to time if necessary.
Repeat the procesure until the rice are cooked "al dente" (firm, not crunchy not mushy)... it should take about somewhere between 20-25minutes more or less.
Serve hot with plenty of parmigiano to sprinkle upon.

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