Risotto col Vino, Red Wine Risotto

Risotto al Vino, Wine Risotto

Risotto al Vino, Wine Risotto

This is a dish you’ll find throughout Northern Italy; the name changes with location because so does the wine. In Piemonte it’s risotto col Barbera or (on important occasions) col Barolo, and in the Veneto region it’s risotto col Valpolicella, or, when people are extravagant, Risotto all’Amarone.

The important thing is that the wine be dry; the finished dish will have a pleasing tartness that goes quite well with grated cheese, and, as a first course, is a wonderful beginning of a meal. It won’t work as well as a one-course meal, but will could work nicely as a side dish I think (though an Italian would never serve it as such).

Drawing from Alessandro Molinari Pradelli’s La Cucina Lombarda:

  • 2 1/2 cups (500 g) Carnaroli or Vialone Nano rice
  • 3/4 cup (150 g) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 an onion, minced
  • 1 quart (1 liter) simmering beef broth (lightly salted bullion will do)
  • 3 cups (750 ml) dry red wine, warmed
  • 2 cups (100 g; this may be more than you need) freshly grated Parmigiano or Grana Padano
  • Salt to taste

Heat half the butter in a pot, add the rice, and cook over a very low flame, stirring lest it stick and burn. In the meantime, sauté the onion separately, in 1/4 cup of butter, until it is lightly browned. Keep warm.

Risotto al Vino, Wine Risotto

Risotto al Vino, Wine Risotto

When the rice is done frying and the grains have become translucent, begin adding the wine, a glass at a time, and letting it evaporate between additions. Then add broth, a ladle at a time, and stir in the onions. Once the rice reaches the al dente stage turn off the heat, stir in the remaining butter, the cheese, and serve. The wine? More of what went into it.

A note: You can also use white wine to make wine risotto. It will of course be much lighter in color, but still quite good.

How to make risotto, Illustrated


Tags: , , , ,

Categories: Creamy And Cheesy Risotti

Author:Cosa Bolle in Pentola

Italy boasts an astonishing number of varietals, denominations, and wines, and tremendous changes are sweeping the land. New wines are being created, new DOCs are being introduced, and the existing denominations are overhauling their regulations both to reflect the practices adopted by their member wineries and to favor improvements in quality. Even the most staid and stolid region can flower seemingly overnight, emerging with exciting new wines and wineries that require rewriting the enological maps and rethinking one's positions. And, of course, recipes too, because cuisine and wine are closely intertwined and it's difficult to imagine one without the other.


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