Risotto Rosso

By Abra Bennett
March 17, 2010
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Author Notes: I often create dishes to accompany specific wines, and I made this risotto in honor of Yellow Hawk's Mescolanza di Rosso, a delicious wine they're no longer making. You can make the risotto with any fruity red wine and still soar like a hawk when you serve it. - Abra BennettAbra Bennett

Food52 Review: Savory, earthy and acidic all at once, Abra Bennett's risotto is a carefully conceived juxtaposition of flavors and textures. It's also a study in umami: you start with a base of cubed pancetta and mushrooms, add shallots and carnaroli rice -- which you then render creamy with both red wine and beef broth -- and finish the risotto with a shower of parmesan and some butter. It's rich without being overpowering, and we love how the carnaroli rice keeps its structure without being crunchy; the resulting dish is creamy, not gluey. - A&MThe Editors

Serves: 4

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided use
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided use
  • 4 ounces diced mushroom caps, shiitake or cremini
  • 2 ounces diced pancetta
  • 1/4 cup diced shallots
  • 1 cup carnaroli rice, or use vialone nano or arborio
  • 1/2 cup fruity red wine
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 ounce Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated
  • 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 T butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Sauté diced pancetta until the fat begins to render. Add diced mushrooms, and saute over medium high heat until pancetta and mushrooms are golden and slightly crisp. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  2. Combine beef and chicken broth in a large measuring cup or a saucepan. Heat the broth in the microwave or on the stovetop until simmering, and maintain it at a bare simmer. Add 1 T olive oil to the fat in the pan and briefly sauté the diced shallots over medium heat until softened but not brown. Add the rice and sauté, stirring frequently, until the rice is completely opaque but not golden. Add the wine and stir until the rice is pink and the wine is evaporated. Reduce heat to medium low.
  3. Begin adding the simmering broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly. As soon as each addition of broth is absorbed into the rice, add another 1/2 cup. When you have only 1 cup of broth left, return the pancetta and mushroom mixture to the pan to let the flavors blend into the rice. When all of the broth has been absorbed, the rice should be creamy, but not mushy. You may need a little more or less broth, depending on your rice.
  4. Add 2 T butter and stir until melted. Add Parmigiano Reggiano and stir to incorporate, then add parsley and stir briefly. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

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