Don’t Be Radicchio With My Risotto…

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.

Radicchio risotto 1 2014

Melt a tablespoon of butter in a skillet.  Chop 4 slices of streaky bacon and start rendering in the skillet.

Radicchio risotto 2 2014

After a few minutes add in a half cup of thinly sliced red onions and two cloves of garlic finely chopped.

Radicchio risotto 3 2014

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.

Radicchio risotto 4 2014

Add stock a half cup at a time allowing the rice to absorb the liquid.

Radicchio risotto 5 2014

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.

Radicchio risotto 6 2014 Radicchio risotto 7 2014

Season with salt.  Serve as soon as the risotto is cooked.  It needs to be firm and slightly al dente.

Radicchio risotto 8 2014

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.