One of the many joys of winter in Italy is the abundance of radicchio, and there are so many varieties, like this long and compact beauty, perfect for risotto.
I also found my Mum's old green pot (about 50 years old) which she always used to make risotto, and discovered that it is suitable to my new Italian kitchen's induction cooker. It may look a bit battered but it cooks beautifully!
To start chop a white onion and sauté with olive oil, then add the chopped and rinsed radicchio with a pinch of salt, put the lid on and simmer, stirring from time to time, until the the radicchio is all wilted and doesn't taste too bitter.
It should take about 20 minutes on low, and look like this (with a bit of juice). Now add the arborio rice, (I made risotto for 8 with about 600 g of rice, only one onion and one radicchio!).
Stir until the rice is hot and then start adding the vegetable stock, ladle by ladle as needed, you will need about two litres of it.
Keep stirring and adding stock until ready. When working with large quantities of rice it is better to rinse it first to remove a little starch, otherwise it will become too hard to turn, and too sticky.
Risotto with Radicchio is a great Italian classic, very popular in Veneto and Emilia Romagna (the best radicchio is from Treviso). Possibly in Veneto you would accompany it with one their fine whites, but in Emilia I paired it with a Pignoletto and it tasted great! Enjoy!
Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©