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Risotto al Radicchio Rosso di Verona -- Red Radicchio Risotto

Radicchio precoceThe red radicchio of the Veneto is one of the great glories of the winter months, and a perfect reason to eagerly await cold weather. It's wonderful grilled, and is also very nice in risotto, either with other ingredients (for example, risotto with red radicchio and scampi), or by itself, as here. To serve 4-5, you'll need:

  • 2 cups short-grained rice, ideally Vialone Nano
  • 12 ounces (300 g) firm, crunchy red radicchio
  • An onion
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup extravirgin olive oil (from Lake Garda if possible)
  • 1 quart beef broth, hot
  • Salt and grated Parmigiano to taste.

Begin by slicing the onion finely and sauté it in the oil and butter. While it's coloring (don't let it brown), thinly shred the leaves and stalks of the radicchio, add them to the pot, and cook until they have wilted. Add three cups hot broth, heat until the pot comes to a boil and add the rice. Cook, stirring, and adding more broth as necessary, until the rice reaches the al dente stage. Just before it does, stir in another tablespoon of butter and grated cheese to taste (I'd go with 1/2 to 3/4 cup). Stir to amalgamate it all, turn off the heat, let the risotto sit covered for a minute or two, and serve.

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