Simple red wine risotto with mascarpone. Wine with dinner and in your dinner. Most of the alcohol, if not all, will evaporate during the cooking of the risotto, but not the flavor.
Without breaking the bank, use a red wine that will give you a good flavor; may be the same wine you will be drinking with this dish. I used a Cabernet Sauvignon. This is not considered a bold wine, but it does give the risotto a nice winy flavor and I am not going to wine about it. Imagine what you can do with a bolder wine, a Zinfandel for instance.
A little longer than a year ago I made a spaghetti dish with Zinfandel: Red Wine Spaghetti with Pepper Confetti. I used Zinfandel, because the pasta spends less time with the wine during cooking, so you need to start a little stronger. In the case of this Red Wine Risotto with Mascarpone, you’re cooking the rice for about 20-30 minutes with the wine, so more intensity and you can get away with a less strong wine.
With a little bit of imagination, this dish almost looks like a plate of brains. I know that is a weird thing to say, but that what came to mind when I looked at it. And it is not something I see every day, actually never seen brains on a plate.
OK, back to the normal.
In the recipe below, you will see that there is nothing difficult in making this Red Wine Risotto with Mascarpone. The only thing you need is warm wine and stock and you add that ladle by ladle to the risotto. Add the wine first and allow that to be absorbed before you add the stock. Use vegetable stock and you’ll have a vegetarian dish. I have learned that risotto turns out better when you add the liquid warm, rather than cold. It may be my imagination, but it makes a softer risotto. When the wine and the stock is fully absorbed by the rice, add the Mascarpone, some Parmigiano Reggiano and salt and pepper to taste.
It does not need anything else. It is full of flavor, creamy, looks different than normal. Enjoy!