Red Wine Risotto

Red Wine Risotto
Have you ever had Red Wine Risotto at your local Italian restaurant? What’s truly special about this simple risotto recipe from Piemonte is the variety of rice and wine used: as for most Italian dishes, the challenge isn’t in the actual cooking, but in the choice of the right ingredients.

Carnaroli rice, also known as the king of rice, looks very elegant with its long grain, has a higher starch content to make your risotto incredibly creamy, and has a firmer texture. If that’s not enough, you should also know that this variety of rice keeps its shape a lot better than Arborio or Roma, making your risotto extremely well presented as well as perfectly rich and creamy.

So, where can you find it? Most deli stores will sell Carnaroli rice or be able to order it for you.

Our next special ingredient is Barbera, the delightfully fresh red wine from Piemonte, too. Barbera grape is also grown in Australia, therefore it shouldn’t be a problem to find a bottle at your local bottle shop. If you have the choice, go for Barbera d’Asti. If you’re a wine connoisseur, here’ some info about it:

Red Wine Risotto

Ingredients (serves about 4)
-300g of Carnaroli rice
-60g of butter
-half of an onion, finely chopped
-1 bay-leaf leaf
-2 glasses of Barbera wine (about 400 ml)
-1lt hot meat stock (beef recommended, chicken ok)
-40g Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
-white pepper to taste

Choose a fry pan big enough to fit the rice, considering that it will approximately double in size. Got it? Let’s cook!

1. Melt half of the butter on low heat, when it’s hot put the onion and the bay-leaf in, and cook for a couple of minutes, until soft.

2. Put the heat up to medium and add the rice: keep stirring for the first minute to get it nice and hot.

3. Add the wine and let it evaporate quickly. When you pour it in, it will make a big cloud of wine-steam: that’s what you want. Keep stirring until the wine has almost completely evaporated.

4. Start adding the boiling stock: add one ladle, stir and let evaporate. Add another ladle, stir and let evaporate. Add a third ladle, stir and let it evaporate. Keep stirring and adding stock for 20 minutes, keeping a medium heat and stirring continuously. The rice will start releasing starch and you’ll see it getting the typical creamy consistency.

5.After 20 minutes turn the heat off and let your risotto rest for a few minutes. This is when the texture adjusts and it’s very important. Put the rest on the butter in, mix it with the rice, add the grated Parmigiano Reggiano and mix again.

6. If you like, grate a bit of white pepper on top: Buon Appetito!

Match it with
Of course you don’t want to open a whole new bottle of such a nice red, and only use one cup: go ahead and have a glass of that nice Barbera you used to cook the rice.

A cheese entree or appetiser would be excellent before this risotto, something like our savoury baci di dama

Have a Thermomix?
The steps for Thermomix users are similar to other risotto recipes, and the tips are the same: use the butterfly, carefully measure your rice/stock ratio – because you want your risotto to be creamy, not watery – and of course use good quality rice. Good ingredients are always the key 😉

According to this article on Thermomix-recipes you will need, roughly, these ratio: per 1 measuring cup of rice, add 2 measuring cups of stock +1

per 1 measuring cup of rice = 3 measuring cups of stock
per 2 measuring cups of rice = 5 measuring cups of stock
per 3 measuring cups of rice = 7 measuring cups of stock … and so on.

1. place onion in bowl and chop: 3 seconds speed 5.
2. add butter and bay leaf: 3 min. 100ºC speed 1.
3. add rice and toast: 3 min. 100ºC reverse speed 1.
4. add wine: 2 min. 100°C reverse speed 1.
5. add boiling stock and cook: 15 min.* 100ºC reverse speed 1.

*cooking time may vary according to the quality/brand/variety of rice you choose: 15mins is average. Check the packet for exact cooking time.

Red Wine Risotto

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