Risotto is one of the most beloved Italian dishes, especially in the northern regions where it’s eaten at least once a week. The most classical version of it is the Saffron Risotto from Milan, but of course there are quite a few regional variations that are definitely worth a try. This is why today I want to share with you a risotto recipe from Veneto, the northeastern Italian region where Venezia is located and where I used to live during my university years.
There, Radicchio is the most iconic vegetable of the region and it’s and it’s used in dozens of different preparations, both fresh and cooked. I really enjoy the sharp bitterness of this colorful green and I think it makes a great combination with Gorgonzola cheese, the other core ingredient of this recipe. In fact, the thing that I like the most about this dish is that it combines two strong and pungent flavors creating something new and unique.
Good radicchio has a slight bitter flavor (not too pronounced) and a great crunchy texture that pairs perfectly with the sweet spiciness of Gorgonzola Dolce cheese. The cheese mellows down the bitterness of the vegetable, and the fresh radicchio strips add a new dimension to the dish.
As with all risotto preparations, the key to a great result is to be consistent, stir frequently, and add the broth one ladleful at a time, waiting for it to be absorbed by the rice before adding some more. This way, you will achieve a creamy and smooth consistency that will blow your taste buds. Finally, if you want to take this recipe to the next level and make it a little fancier, you can add just a few chopped walnuts on top, I’m sure you will appreciate the contrast of textures!
More traditional Italian recipes from Giorgia Fontana:
Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce – Spaghetti alla Portofino
Pesto Genovese (Traditional Italian Pesto)
Also, click here if you are interested in the History of Risotto
Risotto Radicchio and Gorgonzola (Northern Italy)
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1 small head radicchio (around 6 oz)
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 onion, finely chopped
- 2/3 cup risotto rice (Carnaroli, Arborio or Vialone nano)
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 3 ounces Gorgonzola Dolce cheese
- 1/8 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
- Sea salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- In a small pot, bring the stock to a light simmer.
- In the meantime, clean and prepare the radicchio. Slice the leaves into thin strips, dice the white part and discard the root.
- Add extra virgin olive oil and onions to a large skillet. Sauté for a few minutes on medium-low heat.
- Add the rice and stir for 30 seconds to toast the grains and coat them with oil. Then, deglaze with white wine.
- When the wine is completely absorbed, start adding the stock one ladleful at a time. Stir frequently and wait for the rice to absorb the liquid before adding some more.
- After around 10 minutes, add the radicchio to the rice. Keep just a little aside for garnishing; it gives the dish a nice crunch.
- Continue cooking and adding the stock for another 10 minutes.
- When the rice has a soft bite, turn off the heat. Add Gorgonzola, Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to taste.
- Stir vigorously to melt the cheese with the residual heat and create a creamy consistency.
- Serve immediately, adding a few strips of fresh radicchio on top of each dish.
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