Borlotti bean, radicchio and red wine risotto recipe

Borlotti bean, radicchio and red wine risotto
Risotto with beans - yes - makes a rich, comforting dish cut through with bitter leaves Credit: Haarala Hamilton

Double starch can seem odd (too much) but this works, the slight bitterness of the radicchio cutting the carbs. It works brilliantly with the addition of bacon lardons or little chunks of spicy sausage.

Prep time: 8 minutes | Cooking time: 35 minutes

SERVES

Four

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • good pinch dried chilli flakes
  • 1 stick of celery, finely diced
  • 250g risotto rice
  • 500ml good-quality red wine
  • 500ml vegetable or chicken stock
  • ½ head of radicchio (about 125g), core and outer leaves removed, the rest sliced
  • 1 x 400g tin borlotti beans, drained and rinsed
  • 30g butter
  • 30g Parmesan, grated, plus more to serve

METHOD

  1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy pan. Sauté the onion until soft but not coloured.
  2. Tip in the garlic, chilli and celery and cook for one minute. Add the rice and stir it to coat in the juices. It will start to look translucent.
  3. Heat the wine and the stock separately to simmering point. Keep them simmering.
  4. Add the wine to the rice, a little at a time. Stir continuously and add more only when the previous lot has been absorbed. Then add the stock a ladleful at a time, stirring continuously.
  5. It will take about 20 minutes to add all the liquid. You need to end up with a creamy potful, in which each grain still has a slight bite.
  6. About 5 minutes before the end of the cooking time, stir in the radicchio, which will wilt, and the beans. Keep stirring gently – you don’t want to break up the beans. 
  7. Check the seasoning. Unless your stock was very salty, the dish will need salt (the beans just suck it up) and pepper.
  8. Stir in the butter and cheese, cover and rest, off the heat, for two minutes. Serve with extra Parmesan on the side.