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
- 1Heat 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).
- 2Add 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).
- 3Stir 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.