A creamy and smokey radicchio risotto with bacon is a cozy winter dish that everyone will love! A traidtional Italian recipe with a twist!
Today I’m sharing one of my favorite risotto recipes. I’ve cooked and improved it over the years. Although it has some pretty basic ingredients it has so much flavor and attitude.
It’s the season of radicchio and we eat it almost every day. Mostly in salads, but now and then we love to cook this creamy delicious risotto.
And in case you’re wondering if risotto is hard to make, because it needs to be of a specific consistency, it’s not hard, you just need to keep an eye on your risotto.
A perfect risotto should have be a bit on the ofter side of al dente and have a little bit of a creamy, not too runny, sauce.
Does radicchio risotto taste bitter?
It does, a little. Certainly far less than the raw radicchio. With cooking it looses a lot of its bitterness and the flavor is enhanced.
All other flavors that are in this risotto help elevate the flavor of radicchio and they also tame the bitterness. So you shouldn’t worry about the risotto being bitter, you probably won’t even notice it.
I have been making this risotto using bacon for ages. The traditional Italian version doesn’t include any meats and if you’re not a fan of bacon, you can substitute it with pancetta. You would still get the meaty flavor without the smokiness. Or you can omit the meat and get a rather traditional risotto, which is also very delicious.
In case you love risottos as much as I do, I have some other amazing recipes:
Bacon & Radicchio Risotto
- 1 cup rice (200 g)
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 1 celery stick finely chopped
- 50 g bacon cubed into 0,5cm (1/4 inch) cubes
- 150 g radicchio cut into small pieces (2.5 cm / 1 inch)
- 2 TBSP pine nuts
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 4 cups vegetable broth simmering
- ground pepper
- 1 TBSP butter or olive oil for finishing
Place bacon cubes into a frying pan and cook over medium-low heat until golden and crisp.
Continuing cooking over medium-high heat, add finely chopped onions and celery. Cook until translucent.
Add radicchio, pine nuts, and rice cook for a minute until the radicchio wilts a bit.
Add wine and wait until it evaporates. Season with some black pepper and continue cooking by adding one ladle of simmering broth at a time, waiting to completely absorb into rice before adding another ladle. When rice is on the soft side of al dente, the risotto is done.
Remove from the stove and add a tablespoon of butter or olive oil.