So sweet, so bitter: Late Red Radicchio of Treviso is a key ingredient in winter cooking, thanks to its versatile nature and typical taste.
During the colder months, radicchio of Treviso is never missing from restaurant menus and Veneto meals: among the many dishes in which it plays a starring role, risotto is undoubtedly the most famous and most representative, a true example of the balance between creaminess and flavour.
In Andrea’s recipe, red wine and malga cheese provide aromas, brighten the colour and add softness to this first course so closely linked to the territory.
The creaming with butter, Grana Padano and malga cheese made from raw milk, is fundamental to ensure a perfect result, dilute the characteristic bitter taste of the radicchio of Treviso and ensure the right “wave” consistency for the risotto.
The most important tip to get the best result? Be patient.
Behind every good risotto, there is a carefully prepared broth. Cut the onions, carrot and celery into small pieces and place them together with the meat scraps and bay leaf in a large pot filled with cold water. Bring almost to the boil and let it simmer for at least an hour.
Now move on to the seasoning. Peel the radicchio of Treviso, wash the leaves under running water and dry them well, then cut them into small pieces. In a saucepan, sauté the chopped onion until it is golden brown and soft, deglaze with half of the red wine and when the alcohol has evaporated, cook the radicchio of Treviso until it is soft. Add enough salt and pepper.
Remove the seasoning from the pan and place it in a container. Start toasting the rice until you can no longer hold it in your hand because it is too hot. When the rice is well roasted, again pour in the rest of the red wine and let it evaporate, add a ladle of boiling stock and stir well.
Continue cooking the rice, adding one ladle of stock at a time as the previous one is absorbed. After a couple of minutes of cooking, add the radicchio of Treviso and continue stirring. When the cooking is almost finished and the rice is al dente (it will take about 12 minutes from the time you add the broth) turn off the heat and stir in the malga cheese, butter and Parmesan. Mix well and season with salt and pepper.
Serve hot with thyme leaves.