Thursday, December 30, 2010

Maria's Risotto with Radicchio...might be a yummy New Year's Eve dinner addition!

This is it: Maria's Risotto con Radicchio recipe.

Easy and really...I mean really scrumptious.

Why not run down to the market, pick up the simple ingredients and prepare this for that special someone for the New Year?

2 medium heads of red radicchio
(I've seen the little cabbage look-alike heads of radicchio in Ralph's and Whole Foods in the States)
Arborio rice
1 1/2 liters of Chicken or vegetable broth (you can make your own fresh broth, but canned broth or bouillon cubes work well, too)
3/4 stick butter or margarine (okay butter, because it tastes better!)
3/4 cup grated Parmigiano cheese
Makes six servings.

-Melt the butter over a low flame in a deep pot
-In a seperate pot bring broth to slow boil and keep warm over a low flame so it doesn't evaporate
-Remove the first layer of radicchio leaves and discard; slice the radicchio (remove and discard the white heart or stem) into fine pieces and sautee in melted butter until limp but not brown
-Add 7 fistfuls of risotto to the sauteed radicchio and blend together (a fistful per person plus one; I stole this techinque from my mother in law!)
-Add one or two ladels of hot broth at a time, constantly mixing the rice ensuring it stays moist; continue mixing, cooking and adding broth a little at a time for about 20 minutes (if needed add more water to the simmering broth)
When rice is cooked and is moist and creamy add the generous helping of grated Parmigiano cheese while the risotto is still bubbling in the pot. Mix well and mangia while it's hot!

Though I prefer reds, I think this dish goes very well with a nice Chardonnay. One of my favorite Italian Chardonnays is from the Jermann winery in Friuli

Buon appetito!

Los Angeles gal gone Venetian...Where do I start?

It's tough being a first time blogger. What on earth will I say that hasn't already been said? 

First, how about a formal introduction? You know, those things we used to do face-to-face; perhaps with a bold handshake, or a blushing smile. Sound romantic? That's because it is, and so am I.

My name is Marie, and I live in the Venetian (as in Venice, Italy) countryside. I adore and use internet just like the most loyal Facebook soldier, and find myself spending more and more time in my cozy study poking away at the keyboard. Yet, with all the time I spend writing--a task I've become addicted to in the last few years--I find little else more comforting than turning the pages of a good book, or sipping a glass of red Valpolicella ripasso (ripasso for those who may not know is wine passed through and aged in at least two types of wood barrels). Preferably the sipping takes place while I'm stirring a simmering pot of radicchio risotto to win and warm the  hearts and stomachs of my family. That's what I like. Simple stuff. Me, a once upon a time yuppie banker from Los Angeles, California, found love and happiness in Venice, Italy, and went from making reservations at the latest restaurants on the westside of L.A. to whipping up some of the best Italian meals on my very own kitchen stove! (Well most of the time, I still make great reservations!)

Now, the next step is up to you...anyone who finds their way to my blog...just go ahead and ask, and I will be happy to share a recipe or two; maybe even add a tale or two about what it's like for a former L.A. gal living in Venice.