Occasionally I find myself backed up in the book department. I’m in the middle of a couple and have several in the wings. When that happens and the kids want to make a trip to the library I find myself wandering in the cookbook aisle. Oh the possibilities!
If I had the budget and space I would be buying cookbooks all the time. Alas, I don’t have either. Though over the years I’ve collected a few very old cookbooks from the 1800’s. I find them fascinating. I have tried to do recipes though it gets tricky when they talk about slow ovens or hot ovens.
This time round I found “Lidia’s Italy” by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and Tanya Bastianich Manuali. Now there is a job I’d love to have! Being paid to travel round Italy and creating a cookbook based on what I see. Sign me up!
A risotto with radicchio caught my eye. This is my version of it. Instead of simmering water I chose to use chicken stock. As I’ve mentioned before I find water to be a harsh ingredient. I also changed the recipe to just make 2 portions with enough for a small lunch as leftovers. Before starting heat 2 – 2 1/2 cups of chicken stock.
Melt a tablespoon of butter in a skillet. Chop 4 slices of streaky bacon and start rendering in the skillet.
After a few minutes add in a half cup of thinly sliced red onions and two cloves of garlic finely chopped.
Add a half cup of arborio rice and half a cup of dry white wine. Stir well for a couple of minutes. Add 3/4 cup of radicchio.
Add stock a half cup at a time allowing the rice to absorb the liquid.
Grate a cup of fresh parmesan cheese. When the risotto is about halfway cooked add fresh peas to cook and then when the risotto is nearly cooked add the cheese.
Season with salt. Serve as soon as the risotto is cooked. It needs to be firm and slightly al dente.
The recipe called for putting in the radicchio near the beginning. I think next time I would wait longer as the colour is lost as it is cooked. But it lent a nice balance with the bacon. And it was really good with toasted buttered ciabatta.