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Harvest Recipe: Traditional Italian Risotto

Marilisa Allegrini shares her family’s recipe for a hearty risotto made with red wine grapes

Jennifer Fiedler
Posted: September 24, 2010

With harvest in the northern hemisphere underway, we asked vintners to share their favorite fall recipes. In our second installment of this three-part series, we checked in with Allegrini of Valpolicella, Italy. Part one with a tomato tart from Cakebread Cellars is here.

The Allegrini family has been producing wine in the Veneto region of Italy for hundreds of years. Here, co-owner Marilisa Allegrini shares one of their family recipes for a risotto made with red wine grapes that has been passed down through generations. With a splash of both white and red wine, this dish makes a perfect symbolic toast to the season. Choose a Verdicchio or Vermentino for the white and either a Barbera or Dolcetto for the red. The Allegrini Verona Palazzo della Torre would also make an excellent choice.

Harvest Risotto with Red Grapes

• 4 cups vegetable broth
• 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 medium shallots, sliced thinly
• 1 bunch chives, finely chopped
• 2 cups of short-grain imported Italian rice, such as Vialone Nano, Carnaroli or arborio
• 1/5 cup white wine
• 1/5 cup red wine
• 1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving at the table
• 1 large bunch (around 2 cups) red grapes
• Salt

1. In a medium saucepan, heat the vegetable broth until simmering.

2. On a low flame, heat the olive oil in a saucepan until it shimmers, add the shallots, chives and rice, a sprinkle of salt and stir gently.

3. When the rice looks translucent (after about 5 minutes), add the wine and let it evaporate as you increase the flame to medium. Begin to slowly add the broth one ladle at a time, letting the liquid evaporate before adding the next. Stir gently throughout until the rice is cooked.

4. Let the rice rest while you rinse and dry the grapes. Cut the grapes in half, removing seeds. Add the cheese and after a few minutes, the cut grapes as well. Stir and adjust the seasoning. Allow the rice to condense and serve hot with a few shavings of cheese on top. (Serves 4)

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