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Barbaresco risotto with Gorgonzola

Risotto plus a glass of Barolo equals a good time. Adding Barolo to the risotto? That's a guaranteed formula for fun.

By Lisa Featherby
  • 10 mins preparation
  • 30 mins cooking
  • Serves 4
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Piedmont means Barolo, and the local dish, the rich and deeply coloured risotto al Barolo, makes full use of it. If Barolo seems a little extravagant to use for cooking, consider Barbaresco, another regional specialty.


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 40 gm butter, coarsely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 300 gm (1½ cups) carnaroli rice (see note)
  • 550 ml red wine, such as Barbaresco, plus an extra splash (for colour)
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • 1 litre (4 cups) chicken stock
  • 50 gm Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated, plus extra to serve
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • 80 gm Gorgonzola dolcelatte, crumbled, to serve
  • Shavings of fennel dressed in lemon juice and extra- virgin olive oil, to serve


  • 1
    Heat olive oil and half the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat, then add onion and stir occasionally until soft (5-7 minutes). Add rice and stir occasionally until rice is too hot to touch (1-2 minutes).
  • 2
    Add wine and thyme to stock, then gradually add stock mixture to rice a ladleful at a time, stirring continuously until liquid is absorbed before adding the next, until rice is al dente (18-20 minutes).
  • 3
    Stir in Parmigiano-Reggiano, remaining butter and an extra splash of wine for colour. Season to taste, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, top with Gorgonzola and extra Parmigiano-Reggiano and serve with fennel salad.


Carnaroli rice is available from select supermarkets and delicatessens.

  • Author: Lisa Featherby