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Operatic Risotto

Operatic Risotto
  • coursePrimo piatto
  • difficultyEasy
  • preparation time1 hour

Made with red wine, Ambrogio Maestri’s recipe for radicchio risotto is enough to make us sing for our supper. The famed baritone learned how to cook while working in the family restaurant and studying to sing; in fact, his first public performances were in front of usual patrons. Today, he is among the most in-demand opera singers in the world, but his love for food continues to grow alongside his career.

During our recent interview, Ambrogio told Eataly Magazine that his favorite dish to make for friends and family is a rich risotto with creamy cheese and crunchy radicchio. Naturally, we had to have the recipe. Luckily for us – and you – the epicurean-cum-singer is generous of spirit. For an authentic twist, make this recipe with Ambrogio’s best-known work as Verdi’s Falstaff playing in the background, and imagine that you're walking along the canals of Venezia. Enjoy!

Radicchio Risotto with Amarone Red Wine
Recipe courtesy of Ambrogio Maestri

Yield: 4 servings

300 grams Carnaroli rice
2 liters vegetable broth (get the recipe)
¼ “Napoli” golden onion, finely chopped
1 red radicchio di Verona, finely chopped & white center removed
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
30 grams fresh Caciotta cheese
60 grams Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
2 cups Amarone red wine (suggested: Amarone della Valpolicella)
Salt, to taste

Place the onions in a large saucepan with tablespoon of the butter and the 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Let it dry on low heat. When the onions are aromatic, add the radicchio to the saucepan, and let it dry. Finally, add the rice and toast for a few minutes, stirring often.

Continue to cook, stirring to coat, and then deglaze with a cup of the red wine. Turn up the heat to evaporate the alcohol. After 15 minutes, add the rest of Amarone wine in small doses, the Caciotta cheese, the grated Parmigiano, and the rest of butter. Stirring to coat, continue to cook, to evaporate the alcohol.

Season to taste with salt, and serve immediately.

Buon appetito!

Maestri Ambrogio radicchio risotto

Read the full interview with Ambrogio Maestri on Eataly Magazine!

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