Most risotto recipes include a bit of white wine to deglaze the pan with, but we found a risotto made with red wine and we love it. This recipe comes from the cookbook Bitter Honey, Recipes and Stories from the Island of Sardinia. They use a local red wine, but we made the recipe with Underwood Pinot Noir. With a small amount of prep work, this dish comes together easily. A perfect dish to share on Valentine’s Day or to help get you through the last of the cold winter months.
5 cups chicken stock
2 cups (500mL) Underwood Pinot Noir
10 tablespoons butter
1⁄2 head of large radicchio or 1 small entire head, finely sliced
pinch of sea salt
1 tablespoon sapa or an aged balsamic
2 small white onions, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, sliced
2 cups risotto rice
3oz Parmesan, grated, plus extra to serve
In a deep saucepan over low heat, mix together your stock and wine.
Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a separate saucepan. Reserve a handful of radicchio for decoration then fry the rest until it just wilts. Add a pinch of salt and the vinegar. Continue cooking for a minute or so and set aside.
Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a deep saucepan and fry the onions and garlic gently, until soft and translucent. Add the rice and stir for a minute or so. Add a ladle of your wine and stock mixture and stir until it has been absorbed into the rice. Repeat the process, ladle by ladle, stirring after each addition until the rice absorbs the liquid.
The whole cooking process should take around 17–20 minutes. Once your rice is al dente and the liquid has mostly evaporated, set it aside for the ‘mantecatura’, or ‘creaming’.
With a wooden spoon, beat the rest of the butter with the grated Parmesan. Beat well for a minute or two, until a luscious creamy sauce is formed.
Finally, fold in your cooked radicchio and serve, topped with the reserved raw radicchio for decoration and an extra grating of Parmesan.