Risotto Rosso

March 17, 2010
5 Ratings
  • Serves 4
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 Bennett —Abra Bennett

Test Kitchen Notes

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&M —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 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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32 Reviews

don January 22, 2021
Mushroom broth was on sale today, so I used 3 c of that and 2 of chicken, shiitake mushrooms and 2 strips of thick cut bacon. Husband said “you can make that again”.
Julia September 19, 2020
I’ve made this multiple times and it is now a fall/winter favorite. Different mushroom varieties will work, Bacon can sub for pancetta, and the mix of broth types is flexible. Sometimes I add peas too!
Darian April 28, 2019
This was fantastic! My family loved it and asked it be added to our "make again" list. I really enjoyed the combo of the pancetta and shiitakes.
Barbara M. October 12, 2017
Just found this recipe for the first time. Made it with shitaakes I grew myself, and some local andouille sausage, with fresh herbs from the yard. Holy cow, so delicious!
Valerie T. July 17, 2014
so delicious
sevenfaces March 14, 2014
Full of umami, few ingredients but they all pack a punch! I subbed in bacon for pancetta and used twice as much, and same with mushrooms - I only had plain ol button mushrooms on hand so I cut them into a slightly bigger dice than pictured and they gave up all their water in the pan to become delicious little nuggets. Great recipe!
Jaxmccaff March 10, 2014
Made this and loved it. I used bacon as I didn't have pancetta and it was still outstanding. Will make this again!
Valerie T. January 22, 2014
this was really delicious. i omitted the mushrooms because my boyfriends does not like them. it required more broth at the end and i wish that i had had extra that was already heated, but i didn't so i just threw some in cold and hoped for the best. turned out fine, luckily. i think this would be delicious with the addition of peas or something green.

OH did i mention i tripled the pancetta and used 6 oz? yeah... that happened
Theo September 26, 2013
I used to do this risotto in Bordeaux France last year. I used a white chantemerle or a grande theatre and i have to tell that the character that the wine was giving working together with thyme was amazing and unique.
kimberly.godwin May 21, 2013
I made this last night for dinner. I am NOT a fan of mushrooms, but decided to use them anyway. I diced them up very fine. I loved the flavor of this dish. I used a vegan chicken and beef broth and thought it was delicious. It took awhile to make, standing and constantly stirring and adding broth, but well worth the effort. I had some left overs for lunch today and would almost say it was better today. Will make this again. Maybe next time put in a tad bit more pancetta.
gustus March 20, 2013
Rich, yes, creamy, yes, but...I found the pancetta and mushroom flavors too muted. I think using bigger chunks of mushroom that "diced" and perhaps smoky/farmhouse bacon (as some other commenters used) would amp up the flavor.
The F. January 1, 2013
I was looking for a new risotto recipe that wasn't too challenging, expensive or time consuming for my upcoming cooking class and decided to make it for New Years Eve. Oh my heavens, this is beyond fantastic. I don't think I've ever had a risotto so delicious. Used hickory smoked bacon from a local butcher shop because who wants to fight the crowds the day before a Holiday, certainly not me! Other than that, followed the recipe to a "T" and it turned out beautifully. Can't wait to share this with my students!
Woodside February 5, 2012
Made this for a friend who doesn't eat pork. I wasn't very excited about turkey bacon or some other attempt to substitute another meat for the pancetta, so I started with a dice of kalamata olives and oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes (both Trader Joe's and excellent). Also added some mascarpone at the end instead of the butter. The dish was a keeper with the substitutes, so we'll make it with the pancetta as well in the future. Finding the carnaroli rice may be a bit of a challenge. A delicious meal!
tastysweet February 2, 2014
I love your idea using mascarpone. Will try that next time I have that in the refrig. Did you use same quantity as you would have the butter?
Woodside February 2, 2014
Wish I could claim there was some science to it, but I just put in a glob to loosen it a bit and make it taste good. I'd start with the butter amount and work off that.
goldenblind221 March 30, 2011
This... this is heaven. Amazing. Thank you.
DeArmasA February 19, 2011
I have now made this recipe three times and the last time i made it I was informed by the family that it is here forth the ONLY risotto recipe I'm allowed to serve ;-) Simply delicious, worth every minute it takes to make (37 for me), and since I always end up subbing straight from the farm bacon and it's still the best risotto in the world! Thanks for posting, I don't know what I'd do without Food52 and all you generous chefs!
AntoniaJames May 25, 2010
Finally was able to make this, over the weekend, having bought the carnaroli rice, from Italy, for it about two months ago. Totally agree with A&M's comments that this is all about umami. In fact, if I wanted to let someone taste something to understand what "umami" really means, this would be it! Am thankful for the video here, as I have made few risottos, and none like this one. It turned out well. More details are on my facebook page, Antonias Cooking. I haven't been able to link to Facebook directly from this site. There is only one "Antonias Cooking" on Facebook, and I've opened my wall and photos to "everyone." As of today, however, there are no photos. But there will be. ;o)
PaulaK April 25, 2010
This looks like a really good recipe. I plan to try it.
healthierkitchen April 22, 2010
Will definitely be trying this!
TheWimpyVegetarian April 21, 2010
This looks wonderful! Congrats on your wildcard win!!
gluttonforlife April 21, 2010
Ah, a winner after all. This was already on my list to try. Congrats!