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Cavalo Nero, Speck and Basil Risotto

This Dominique Rizzo recipe is guaranteed to keep you warm on a wintry night.


  • 2 tbsp butter

  • 1 medium brown onion, finely diced

  • 150g speck or pancetta cut into lardons

  • 400g arborio risotto rice

  • 80ml white wine

  • 1.5 litres homemade chicken stock

  • 400g Cavalo nero cabbage

  • 50g Toasted pine nuts

  • 25g Pack fresh basil

  • 100g grated pecorino cheese


  • 1.

    Place the stock into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Lower the heat to a simmer.

  • 2.

    Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large pot, add the finely diced onion and sweat until soft - about 2 minutes.

  • 3.

    Add in the speck or pancetta to the pot and cook for another minute.

  • 4.

    Add the risotto rice and stir to cover with the butter, pour in the wine and stir until most of the wine has been absorbed by the rice.

  • 5.

    Add in the diced cavalo nero and stir.

  • 6.

    Ladle in about a cup of chicken stock and stir gently over a moderate heat until all of the stock has been absorbed.

  • 7.

    Season with a pinch of salt each time you ladle in the stock. Taste the risotto as you are cooking to check if it is cooked and for seasoning.

  • 8.

    Continue to ladle in the stock until most of the stock has been used up and the risotto is aldente with a small bite in the centre. This should take about 20 minutes.

  • 9.

    Turn off the heat and stir through the remaining butter and the parmesan cheese. If the risotto seems to dry add in more stock as it should be wet and creamy like a good porridge but with bite.

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