Risotto al Radicchio e Taleggio

Sono Rodin. 
No!  Io sono Rodin.
No!  Non tu!  IoIo sono Auguste Rodin!

From the kitchen, while I was cooking this risotto, I could hear the two kids arguing who Rodin should be.  The only Rodin I know is the French sculptor Auguste Rodin and I didn't expect them to be discussing about the same person!  How can a 3-year old and 7-year old even be aware of the artist's name?  I asked them and they said that they watched it in TV.  Well, what do you know, Rodin beats Spongebob hands down!

Radicchio is bitter and I am not really fond of it. I rarely include it in my round of ingredients but my husband makes sure we have it sometimes so he's the one who buys them.  He loves it grilled, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled with salt. I eat about a fifth of the radicchio while he eats the rest and the kids escape.  It's actually good really especially when grilled but it's the bitterness that hits me at the end. 

I had a pack of these little red guys again after my husband's vegetable shopping.  I was done with the grilling and a day after, I still had a couple of radicchio under my care.  Risotto al radicchio came to mind and mixing it with the taleggio cheese block I had sitting in the fridge and some crunchy guanciale seemed like a delicious idea. 

I enjoyed a big serving, the kids ate some and my husband went for seconds. It actually came out almost a winner on our table.  Still, the kids and radicchio are enemies anyway.  I didn't taste the usual bitter aftertaste of the radicchio and the taleggio helped give a round taste.  Sprinkling it with toasted guanciale depends on your taste. My husband liked it but says the risotto can go without it (he's not really fond of pork) while I liked how it gives a different angle to the smooth blend of the taleggio and radicchio. You be the judge. 

Buon appetito!

Risotto al Radicchio e Taleggio

Serves 4 (abundant) or 5
  • 250 g. or 2 small radicchio
  • 300 g. Valione Nano rice (also Carnaroli or Arborio)
  • 1 small onion, chopped finely
  • 1 liter hot vegetable broth
  • 250 ml. white wine
  • 150 g. taleggio, diced
  • 75 g. guanciale, diced (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano, grated
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • pepper
  1. Rinse the radicchio then dry.  Discard the outer leaves.  Cut it in half lengthwise.  Cut lengthwise again, leaving you with 4 parts.  Chop coarsely.  Set aside.
  2. Sautè the onion in a saucepan with extra virgin olive oil.
  3. When the onion changes color, add the rice.
  4. Toast the rice for about 3 minutes until well coated with oil.
  5. Pour the wine.  Let it evaporate with medium - high fire.
  6. Meanwhile, in a small skillet without oil, toast  the guanciale until crunchy.  Set aside.
  7. Add about 1/3 of the hot vegetable broth on medium fire. Keep on stirring so that the rice will not burn or stick to the bottom.  Never let the rice run dry. 
  8. After 5 minutes of cooking, add the radicchio (leave a handful for garnishing).  
  9. Keep on ladling the hot broth and stirring until you reach the desired consistency, between 15 - 19 minutes, depending on the kind of rice used.  
  10. Add the taleggio & season with pepper (& salt if still needed).  Turn off the fire.  It should be very cream, almost with a little bit of excess liquid.  The risotto will still cook even after you turn off the fire. 
  11. Add the butter and parmigiano reggiano.  Mix well.  Let the risotto rest for a couple of minutes.
  12. Garnish with the toasted guanciale & radicchio on top and serve hot.  I only sprinkled chopped parsley to give it color but it's not part of the recipe.

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