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Mushroom-Radicchio Risotto

Course Appetizer, Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 2 generous servings

Ingredients

  • 3 cups good-quality chicken or vegetable broth if salty, substitute water for part of the broth
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced pancetta buy at the deli counter or baked ham with a little fat
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot or onion
  • 6 to 8 mushrooms such as shiitake caps, crimini or chanterelles, halved and sliced
  • 1 cup shredded Italian radicchio
  • 2/3 cup Arborio or Carnaroli
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons white wine, white vermouth or Marsala wine
  • Parmigiano Reggiano or other hard grating cheese
  • Kosher or sea salt optional

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan, bring the broth to a boil and adjust the heat to a slow simmer.
  2. To make the flavor base: Over medium heat, coat the bottom of a small skillet or wide-bottomed saucepan with the olive oil. Cook the pancetta and shallot, stirring, until the pancetta crisps and most of the fat liquefies. Stir in the mushrooms and radicchio; cook until softened and lightly browned. Season to taste with pepper.
  3. Melt the butter in the same pan. Stir in the rice and cook for a moment or so, until the grains are coated and smell toasty. Add the wine, stirring until it is absorbed.  Ladle on enough warm broth to barely cover the rice. Adjust the heat so the liquid simmers briskly but not furiously. When most of it has been absorbed, add more broth. Continue to stir often, adding broth as needed, until the rice is cooked through but still slightly firm in the center.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and grate a little cheese (a tablespoon or so) over the risotto; stir, taste and add salt if needed. Add a final ladleful of broth for the risotto to "drink" while resting for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with more grated cheese or, using a vegetable peeler, carve a few shards as a garnish.