Autumn is here which means it’s time for some heart-warming risottos. This one takes Massimo Bottura‘s peppery, parmesan-infused Risotto Cacio e Pepe, and gives it a sweet-and bitter twist. A delicious creamy risotto served with thyme and olive-oil-infused radicchio, making it a perfect starter or main. Get grating and keep a hold of those parmesan rinds….
I was sifting through Netflix one night, when something caught my eye; a foodie series called ‘Chef’s Table’. The first episode was all about Massimo Bottura, an Italian chef who runs Osteria Francescana – a 3 Michelin star restaurant in Modena, which this summer was voted 2nd best restaurant in the world. I’d come across Massimo before, but honestly didn’t know much about him, so I pressed play and found out. For any food lover or budding entrepreneur out there, I urge you to watch this. It’s a fascinating story about the making of a remarkable chef.
Serves 4. Prep time 15mins. Wait time 4hrs min (stock). Cook time 30mins.
For the parmesan stock (night before):
1 litre of still water at room temperature
400g grated parmesan
For the risotto:
a few glugs of olive oil
1 litre parmesan stock
320g arborio rice
1 head of radicchio
a few sprigs of fresh thyme
1 pinch of salt flakes
mix of cracked pepper to taste
Mix the grated parmesan and water in a saucepan and heat to 85-90C. Take off the heat, cover with clingfilm and leave overnight.
The mixture will have separated into 3 parts. Parmesan solids at the bottom, the delicious parmesan broth in the middle and cream at the top. Separate out the cream, and sieve away the solids to hold back the broth.
Slice the radicchio into quarters. Take 2 of them and marinade in thyme and olive oil, adding a pinch of salt. Finely slice the other 2 quarters and set aside.
Heat a few glugs of olive oil in a large frying pan. Add and toast the rice for 2 minutes, then begin adding the broth a bit at a time, stirring continuously.
Ensure the risotto doesn’t dry out. You’ll want to maintain quite a fluid, all’onda consistency. If you’re running low on broth, add a little water from time to time.
Stir in the sliced radicchio 5 minutes before the rice has finished cooking.
Heat up a griddle pan and grill the 2 remaining radicchio quarters until they start to lightly brown. When they’re ready give them a rough chop.
When the rice is done, add the parmesan cream and vigorously stir to emulsify the risotto.
Plate up with a healthy topping of roughly chopped, grilled radicchio and a good twist of pepper mix.
What’s your favourite risotto? Have you ever tried cacio e pepe pasta? Let me know what you think and thanks for reading!