Who would have thought my first dish in the Barolo region would turn out to be my favourite? Risotto al Barolo eaten at Ristorante Rosso Barolo.
I know it looks like something from the children’s menu and I wouldn’t say it had the most complex of flavours, however flavour it did have. Arborio rice, barolo wine, chicken stock and a healthy serving of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. It packed a wonderful punch.
I tried to tempt chef/owner Emanuele to pass on his recipe but he declined. Well, actually he laughed at me when I suggested it. So I took that as a no.
A few weeks later back in London, I was determined to give it a go and see if I could replicate this awesome dish.
On the surface it’s a simple recipe. However when a recipe has only a few ingredients the quality and type of those ingredients become really important.
I decided to follow a recipe from Snooth.
5 tbls. butter – 1 ½ ‐ 2 quarts of chicken stock – 2 cups risotto rice (Arborio, Cannaroli or Vialone nano) – ½ red onion (small dice) – 2 cups Barolo (Not a modern style. Stay away from bottles aged in new oak.) – 3 Tbls of grated Parmigiano‐Reggiano – 2 tsp fresh chopped parsley – Salt and pepper to taste
I was really upset when I couldn’t get my hands on proper chicken stock and had to go with Kallo Cubes. I used a Malvira Nebbiolo in the risotto, which is actually a very good drinking wine. Finding a cheap Barolo/Nebbiolo made in a classic style is a difficult thing to do. At least you get to drink the rest while cooking. And I used organic Parmigiano-Reggiano from Whole Foods.
I really do find the constant stirring required in cooking risotto to be quite therapeutic.
So!?!?!? Was it as good?
I was very impressed at my first attempt, however felt my risotto lacked a bit of richness compared to Rosso Barolo’s. While the liquid quantities in the recipe are good next time I might replace 1/2 – 1 cup of stock with wine. And also add a tbsp more cheese. Still, a great dish can’t wait to try it again.
Via Roma, 16 – 12060 Barolo Barolo (Cn)