Barolo is one of the great wines of Italy. Known by Italian wine lovers as the ‘king of wines and wine of kings’, it comes from Piedmont and is renowned for its deep flavour, bright garnet colour and exceptional clarity. It is the perfect foil to rich meat dishes and powerful hard cheeses. Risotto cooked with Barolo is a very traditional Piedmontese dish. It gives the rice a wonderful colour and aromatic flavour. This version adds Italian salciccia spiced with pepper, fennel and chilli (a good butcher in the UK should do a version). It also includes bitter red radicchio (sometimes called ‘Italian chicory’) which adds to the dramatic colour of the dish. Barolo does not come cheap so you can use any dry, preferably Italian, red wine. But if you are unfamiliar with this gloriously powerful wine with its famous aromas of violets, tar and vanilla then why not splash out. Use a glass in the risotto and finish the rest of the bottle as you eat.
For 2 Hungry Skiers
- 2 Spicy Italian sausages
- A big glug of olive oil
- 1 small onion
- 1 clove of garlic
- 150g Arborio rice
- 1 glass of Red wine
- 750 ml of chicken stock
- Half a small head of radicchio
- 60g butter
- Parmesan cheese to taste
- Remove the skin from the sausages and break them up in a pre-heated pan with a little olive oil. Fry for a couple of minutes on a medium heat until they take on a little colour.
- Finely chop the onion and add it to the pan sautéing it gently until it softens, add the garlic (also finely chopped) and cook for another minute. Now add the rice and stir for a minute or so until it becomes well coated in the oils of the pan. Tip in the wine and let it bubble away as the alcohol burns off.
- When the mixture dries, start adding the stock, a ladleful at a time, stirring continuously. It should take a little under twenty minutes for the rice to cook. About five minutes before the end add the shredded radicchio. When it is done remove from the heat and rest for a minute before stirring in a walnut size piece of cold butter and a handful of Parmesan cheese. Season with a good grind of pepper.