Risotto with Barolo wine and Castelmagno cheese

December 3, 2018

Risotto with Barolo wine and Castelmagno cheese

Serves 4:

  • 1.5-2 litres of a good vegetable or chicken stock (hot)
  • 40 g of butter
  • 1 onion chopped very finely
  • 320 g of carnaroli rice (or other risotto rice like vialone nano)
  • 170 ml of Barolo wine (preferably Barolo but you can use other Nebbiolo grape wine)

To finish the risotto (“mantecatura”):

  • 60 g of cold diced butter
  • about 100 g of grated Castemagno cheese (plus some more for the garnish if you wish)
  • salt and pepper
  • optionally you can add some toasted and roughly chopped hazelnuts and use some for the garnish

Melt the butter in a heavy based pan and add the chopped onion. Cook gently until translucent but don’t colour the onion (for about 5 minutes).

Now add the rice into the pan and stir for a couple of minutes. All the grains should be coated with the mixture and warm (they will start changing colour).

Next pour in the wine that should cover the rice and let it evaporate completely.  Once the onion and rice are dry start pouring in the stock in small amounts, even a ladleful or two at a time stirring the risotto base all the time. When each addition of the stock has almost evaporated then is the time for the next one (again a ladleful or two, never too much).

Carry on cooking the risotto for 15-17 minutes on a medium heat (which is long enough for the rice to turn al dente) but slow down with adding the stock after 12-15 minutes. You don’t want the risotto to become too runny or wet, it should be creamy instead therefore pay attention on how much stock you are adding towards the end of the cooking process. 

Once the grains are ready and soft (al dente) turn the heat down and wait a minute.

The last step is to add the diced cold butter and the grated cheese beating it vigorously together (very important) while shaking the pan. Season to taste.

I like to cover the pan with a lid and let it rest for no more than 2 minutes but of course you can serve the risotto immediately decorated with some grated cheese and toasted hazelnuts.

*Castelmagno cheese is a dense and crumbly cheese from the province of Cuneo that is milder when young but develops some spice when it ages along with a blue mold.

*I am more generous with the red wine proportions to the white one in this risotto. I love the depth of colour and the taste it gives to the rice.