What’s For Dinner?
Red Wine Risotto
(First star is lowest, fourth star is highest)
2004 Golden Whisk Awards
(Our top 10 recipes of the year)
Food writer John Kessler described this risotto as "mind-blowingly delicious." A weight watcher's recipe it isn't; the vast amount of butter and cheese, he said, tempers the acidity and astringency of the red wine. So serve it with light accompaniments, then savor every bite. The recipe was adapted from "La Cucina Lombarda" by Alessandro Molinari Pradelli.
Hands on time: 10 minutes Total time: 25 minutes Serves: 10
2/3 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, divided
2 1/2 cups arborio, carnaroli or vialone nano rice
3 cups dry red wine, warmed
1 quart simmering beef broth (Pacific Organic is a good packaged brand)
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Salt to taste
Melt half the remaining butter in a heavy pot or high-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or paddle, until rice is translucent and making popping noises, about 2 minutes. Begin adding the wine, 1/2 cup at a time, letting it evaporate between additions.
Add the simmering beef broth, 1/2 cup at a time, waiting until each addition is almost completely absorbed before adding the next 1/2 cup. When the rice begins exuding its starch, you may need to reduce the heat and monitor the bottom of the pot to make sure the rice isn't sticking. If you are new to risotto, start adding the broth by the 1/4 cup at this point. After 18 to 20 minutes (longer for vialone nano), the rice should be ready. Vigorously stir in the reserved onions, remaining butter and the cheese. Season if needed. Serve immediately.