Radicchio is all the rage these days, but that’s old news for Italians. This beautiful bitter vegetable has been the star of Italian winter recipes since the beginning of time. Caramelize radicchio with sweet, tart balsamic vinegar to mellow out its bitterness to a perfect bite.

We’re using Carnaroli, aka the King of Rice for this risotto. Each rice grain perfectly absorbs the agrodolce radicchio flavor without ever becoming overcooked.

It wouldn’t be risotto without our favorite cheese, Vacche Rosse, which we add finely grated to up the umami effect. (If you happen to have a spare Vacche Rosse rind hanging out in the back of your fridge, throw it in the pot while cooking the risotto. Imparting the cheese flavor to the rice throughout the cooking process is a game changer.)

A final drizzle of viscous Traditional Balsamic Vinegar is non-negotiable. Not only is it an impressive way to serve your risotto, but it adds a lush complexity that really takes this dish to the next level.


TIME: 30 minutes



  1. Heat 2 spoons of extra virgin olive oil in a dutch oven or thick pan over low heat. Add the sliced red onion with a hefty pinch of fine sea salt and cook until caramelized and very soft, about 20 minutes.
  2. Raise the heat to medium-low and add the sliced radicchio. Cook for 5 minutes or so. Stir in the Balsamic Saba 3 and let bubble away. 
  3. Remove the vegetables from the pan and set aside. 
  4. In the same pan, heat the remaining tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add the Carnaroli rice and toast the grains for 1 or 2 minutes.
  5. Always on high heat, add the red wine, stirring as it evaporates. Once the pan begins to appear dry, stir in a ladleful of hot vegetable stock. Continue in this manner until the rice is a few minutes away from your final desired texture.
  6. Return the reserved balsamic radicchio + onion to the pan and combine with the rice, adding more stock as needed.
  7. Stir in a good grating of Vacche Rosse cheese, then turn off the heat. Add the cubes of cold butter, a few at a time, this is called “mantecare” the risotto. Taste and adjust for salt. 
  8. Divide between bowls and grate some additional Vacche Rosse cheese over each one. Serve with a bottle of traditional balsamic vinegar, allowing everyone to anoint their plate with these precious drops as they see fit.