Risotto all’amarone e funghi

photo by Daniele Tomelleri

(Serves 4-6 porzioni)

With risotto all’amarone, Verona has combined its affinity for risotto with its love for prize-winning wine, for which the region is well-known. Amarone della Valpolicella imparts an exceptional purple colour and depth of flavour. I put a twist on this traditional recipe with my risotto all’amarone e funghi by adding in earthy mushrooms, Parmiganno Regiano and serving it over radicchio leaves. When it comes to knowing when to add more liquid, my trick is to use a wooden spoon to draw a line down the middle of the pan. If the rice doesn’t join together, add more chicken stock. The best part about this recipe: I get this hardy meal on the table in less than 25 minutes!

Ingredients

4-6 cups chicken stock / brodo di pollo

2 tbsp of olive oil / cucchiai di olio di oliva

6 slices of pancetta, diced / fette di pancetta a dadini

1 cup finely chopped onion / cipolla finemente tritata

2 garlic cloves, minced / spicchi di aglio, tritato

1 ½ cups vialone nano rice / vialone nano

2 cups Amarone della Vallpolicella wine / vino

1 cup of assorted mushrooms / funghi assortiti

½ cup grated Parmiganno Reggiano, plus more for garnish / Parmigiano Reggiano grattugiato, più un po’ per guarnire

3 tbsp unsalted butter / cucchiai di burro non salato

¼ cup parsley, finely chopped / prezzemolo, tritato finemente

¼ cup chives, finely chopped / erba cipollina, finemente tritata

Salt and freshly ground black pepper / sale e pepe nero macinato fresco

4-6 radicchio leaves / foglie di radicchio

Instructions

Bring the stock to a simmer over medium-high heat. Then cover and keep warm. Warm the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook until golden brown. Add the onion and sauté until translucent (about 4 minutes). Stir in the garlic. Add the rice and cook until toasted (2-3 minutes). Deglaze the pan with wine and allow it to reduce to about half. Ladle in just enough chicken stock to cover the rice. Use a wooden spoon to make sure the rice is not stuck to the edges. Simmer over medium-high heat until the liquid is absorbed.

Repeat the process twice more. When you add the liquid for the last time, stir in the mushrooms as well. Once the rice is cooked to your liking (if it’s not, simply add more liquid) turn off the heat and add the Parmiganno Reggiano and butter. Stir until the butter is melted. Season with salt and black pepper.

On a flat dinner plate, arrange a radicchio leaf, then place some of the risotto on the leaf and let the rest spill over. Garnish with parsley, chives and some extra virgin olive oil.