Saturday, 12 March 2011

risotto with radicchio and smoked scamorza cheese

   I still remember when risotto al radicchio (red Treviso chicory) created some surprise. It's not even been those many years but it has since lost all its air of novelty, to the point that now you could even count it among the classics. But at some point, variations on the theme are borne and I am sure almost every cook now has his favorite version. This is mine because I find that the light smoked flavour of the scamorza cheese marries beautifully with the bitterness of the radicchio ...

Ingredients - for 4 people 
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 
1 onion diced
400g rice (Arborio or Carnaroli) 
salt and pepper 
1 glass red wine 
1 liter beef stock 
2 heads of radicchio 
130g smoked scamorza cheese, grated

   In a heavy-bottomed pan, soften the the onion with the oil. Add the rice and toast for a few minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper. Pour in the red wine. When this has been absorbed by the rice, start to add the stock, one ladle at the time throughout its cooking time. Cook over medium low heat, stirring often.
   Meanwhile, wash the radicchio and cut it into 3 cm pieces. Five minutes before the rice is ready, add the radicchio. In my opinion, it should not do much more than wilting so as to retain most of its bite and, above all, not loose its slight bitterness. When the rice is ready, remove from the heat and stir in the grated smoked cheese.          Cover and allow to rest for a few minutes before serving.

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