Risotto Radicchio

This risotto from Italy’s Veneto region has few ingredients but loads of flavour — it’s currently on Alma Eatery’s very first dinner menu.

This risotto from Italy’s Veneto region has few ingredients but loads of flavour — it’s currently on Alma Eatery’s very first dinner menu. Make
a brodo for the best result, but you can also use bought stock.


1.5 litres chicken brodo (recipe to follow — substitute chicken stock)
1 large onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, peeled 
2 tablespoons olive oil
75g butter, plus optional extra 40g to finish 
500g radicchio, leaves separated, washed, pat dry
2 cups arborio or Vialone Nano rice 
1/2 cup dry white wine — we use pinot grigio (substitute light red wine, if preferred)
80g freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano

Chicken Brodo (see below)

2 chicken frames
4 chicken wings
1 onion, peeled, halved
1 carrot, peeled, halved
1 celery stalk
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tomato, quartered
1 fresh bay leaf 
3 thyme sprigs
4 black peppercorns

If making the brodo, place all ingredients in a large stockpot, add 3L cold water and a generous pinch of sea salt, and bring to the boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and keep on a very
low simmer for 2–3 hours, occasionally skimming off any foam as it rises to the surface (you should be left with about 2.2L). Sieve and discard solids. (If not using immediately, refrigerate and use
within 5 days.)

Place the chicken brodo or stock in a saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer.

Place onion and whole garlic cloves in a large saucepan with the olive oil and 75g butter, and cook over medium heat until softened but not coloured, stirring occasionally. Bunch the radicchio leaves together and cut into 5mm wide strips, then add to the saucepan and toss to coat.

Increase the heat to medium-high and stir in the rice to coat in the butter. Add the wine and stir until
it evaporates, then season with sea salt. Add a ladleful of the hot brodo to the rice and stir in until absorbed. Continue this process, ladle by ladle, stirring continuously, until the rice is cooked al dente (firm to the bite). This process will take 18–20 minutes. The last ladleful of brodo shouldn’t be completely absorbed, giving the risotto a slightly runny consistency.

Remove from the heat, then remove and discard the garlic cloves. Stir in the parmesan and the
extra 40g butter, if using. Add pepper and check the salt. If desired, add a squeeze of lemon juice
to balance the flavours, and top with shaved parmesan and torn radicchio leaves. Serve on plates
or in bowls that have been warmed.

The lowdown on brodo

Brodo (or Italian broth) is thinner in consistency and less concentrated than a stock made in a French manner. It’s typically a clear broth in which pasta (especially tortellini) may be served. In this risotto, it adds to the great depth of flavour. You can substitute with homemade or store-bought chicken stock, or even use fish stock and serve the risotto with your favourite fish.

Recipe & photography by Alma Eatery in Ōmokoroa