Risotto al Taleggio

Our first full day back in Spello we practically skipped to the negozio to fill our larder with all the tastes we missed this last (almost) two years—excellent oil-packed tuna, fresh mozzarella and tomatoes that smelled like sunshine, palle di nonno salami and Umbrian prosciutto, torta al testo, Chino, Pan di Stelle cookies, tomato flavored crisps, and the reddest strawberries I’ve ever seen. I asked Corrado for a wedge of teleggio, and while wrapping it up, he told me that taleggio is excellent in risotto. In risotto? Si, he answered. With either orange zest or radicchio. He said that if you use orange, you add the taleggio towards the end of cooking, with the orange zest, and if you use radicchio, add the radicchio about 2/3 of the way through the cooking time, and the taleggio at the end. I made the radicchio version the first week we got home, and while I put in too much taleggio for my (sigh) cheese-hating son, the rest of us found it toothsome and glorious. 

Next up, I'll try the orange version, but let me know if you try it and how it turns out!

Ingredients

  • 50 grams butter
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 300 grams Arborio rice, preferably Carnaroli
  • 3/4 cup dry, white wine (something like Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc, nothing oakey)
  • 2 liters chicken broth (at least), preferably homemade (vegetable would work, too), kept at a low simmer
  • 150-200 grams sliced radicchio, about half a large head
  • 100 grams taleggio cheese, cubed

Process

  1. Melt butter in large frying pan (I find this easier than a pot, as I can shake the rice).
  2. Add the onion, frying until the onion is clear, but not brown.
  3. Add the rice, and toss for a minute or two, until it's a little toasty.
  4. Add the wine, and shake the pan until the wine is almost completely evaporated.
  5. Add a couple of ladlefuls of broth, enough to barely cover the rice. When the rice is almost dry, add another couple of ladlefuls of broth and shake/stir. You may not need all the broth, depending on how creamy you like your risotto (I like mine—gasp!—totally American and soft). 
  6. Keep adding broth and shaking/stirring until the rice is close to how soft you like it. Then add in the radicchio. Repeat the broth, stir, evaporate, and when the rice is just about done, add in the taleggio, another ladleful of broth, and pepper. Stir, and taste for salt, adding more if necessary. Once the broth has incorporated, add another knob of butter, cover the pan, and remove from the heat.
  7. Let rest for a couple of minutes, then serve.