Risotto al Chianti

Risotto with Chianti


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

The Italian Regional Cookbook

The Italian Regional Cookbook

By Valentina Harris

Published 2017

  • About

Although risotto is not a typical dish of this region, there is a small area of rice production near the small town of Pontedera - where the world-famous factory of Piaggio is situated, home of the Vespa scooter and the remarkable three-wheeled Ape agricultural vehicle - so a few rice recipes do exist. This one is for a classic risotto, and uses the red wine of the Chianti area to reiterate its Tuscan authenticity. Sage is the herb of choice, but since rosemary is a common herb of this region, you could use that instead if you like.


  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • ½ celery stick, finely chopped
  • 75 g/3 oz/6 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 200 g/7 oz/1 cup arborio rice
  • 750 ml/ pints/3 cups full-bodied Chianti red wine
  • about 550 ml/18 fl oz/2 ½ cups simmering beef, chicken or vegetable stock
  • 50 g/2 oz/ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • sea salt and ground black pepper


  1. Fry the red onion and celery with half the butter and the sage for 5 minutes, or until soft and translucent.

  2. Add the rice and stir until all the grains are toasted, opaque and crackling hot. Do not let the rice or vegetables brown. Add about 150 ml/¼ pint/ cup red wine. Stir for 2 minutes, or until the wine has been absorbed and the alcohol has evaporated (the smell will change when this has occurred). Gradually add the rest of the wine, stirring constantly.

  3. Start adding the hot stock, a ladleful at a time, stirring constantly and allowing the liquid to be absorbed before adding more.

  4. When the risotto is creamy and velvety, but the rice grains are still firm to the bite, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the remaining butter and the Parmesan cheese. Season to taste and cover with a lid.
  5. Leave to stand for 3-4 minutes, then stir once more and transfer to a warmed platter to serve.