The surprise about this dish is how its very simple, almost minimalist, nature can result in such a flavorsome dish, where the radicchio -- and the balance of its characteristically bitter flavors – is what sings. —Emiko
Remove any wilted leaves from the outside of the radicchio head. Slice in half, remove the hard, white core, and shred the radicchio finely.
Saute the onion in half of the butter over a low heat in a deep skillet. When soft and translucent, add the radicchio and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Remove the vegetables from the pan and set aside while you toast the rice.
In the same pan (no need to clean it), place the rice and 1 tablespoon of the butter, then toss over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until the rice begins to appear translucent around the edges.
Return the onion and radicchio back to the pan, toss together, and add the red wine. Turn the heat up and then let the red wine simmer rapidly, giving the pan a shake here and there, until the liquid has evaporated.
At this point, begin adding the vegetable stock, a ladle at a time, letting the rice absorb most of the liquid before adding the next ladle and turning heat down to medium again. This process (including the time included to evaporate the wine) should take in total about 17 minutes.
When the rice is ready (it should have a pleasant bite to it but not be too hard or too soft), remove the pan from the heat, add the grated cheese and the rest of the butter, and toss and/or stir with a wooden spoon until well incorporated and creamy. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into dishes and serve immediately.
The Australian-Japanese cookbook author has lived in Florence (where a visit to a cheese farm once inspired her to start a food blog) for over 10 years with her Tuscan sommelier husband and two kids. Her third cookbook, Tortellini at Midnight, is out now.