I’m so excited to add this risotto to our growing risotto recipe collection on the site! Risotto used to sound so exotic to me, but once you make it a few times it’s actually a simple and delicious dish to make. Radicchio is a chicory leaf that we usually see a few times during the season. It’s known for it’s bitter flavor, but it adds a lot of dimension to different dishes. Cheese and pepper compliment it well. As soon as I saw this recipe by Marcella Hazan it went to the top of my list of recipes to try.
Another thing I liked about this risotto is the use of red wine instead of white, which compliments the radicchio nicely. I used a local dry red from Bet the Farm Winery in Aurora. The key to risotto is measuring and assembling your ingredients before you start cooking. Arborio rice requires frequent stirring to draw out the starch, but you can give the rice and your arm a break once in a while.
The first step to making vegetable risottos is lightly cooking the vegetables, and then stirring them back into the rice. The radicchio is cooked with the rice for the whole process, which is a little different from some risotto recipes. Other than that it’s a straight forward recipe, onions are sautéed, the rice is toasted, and then warm stock is ladled in little by little.
Marcella Hazan’s Radicchio Risotto (serves 4)
1 small head of radicchio, shredded
1 cup arborio rice
4 tablespoons butter, divided
1 onion, diced
1/2 cup parmesan
1/2 cup red wine
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste
Heat a medium sized pot with tall sides over low heat. Sauté the onion in 1 tablespoon of butter until soft and translucent. Add the radicchio and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Remove the vegetables from the pan and reserve.
In the same pan (no need to wipe or clean it), toast the rice and 1 tablespoon of butter for about 5 minutes or until the rice begins to appear translucent around the edges. Stir the onion and radicchio into the rice then add the red wine. Simmer the rice in the wine, stirring frequently until all the wine is absorbed. Add the stock, about a half cup at a time, letting the rice absorb most of the liquid before adding the next ladle. Taste the rice when it starts to puff up, it should be tender, but a bit chewy.
When the rice is ready, remove from heat and add the grated cheese and the rest of the butter. Stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately on a large platter or individual plates.