Risotto with a Twist? Add Red Wine

Nothing says comfort food like a creamy risotto.

There’s more to wine than sips by the glass. This month, we’re partnering with Ashley Rodriguez of Not Without Salt to share tips, insights and recipes featuring wine as the main ingredient.

Notorious for its tricky temperament, risotto demands a lot of attention (and tasting along the way). However, making this Italian dish doesn’t have to be impossible – and nothing beats the warm and creamy deliciousness of the final product.

This risotto recipe is a bit of a commitment to the stove. A risotto requires continual stirring in order to encourage the starches surrounding the grain to release and give the final dish its signature creamy, rich texture. Whenever making a risotto, plan to commit yourself to this endeavor for at least 40 minutes. (In the case of the recipe below, there will be a bit of wine left in the bottle. Pour yourself a glass to keep you company while stirring.)

The risotto is done when the rice still has a bit of a bite to it and the whole mixture slowly runs to the edges of the pan when stirred. It should not be stiff or tight at all, nor should it be mush.

Red wine and beets come together beautifully to make this stunning, jewel-toned risotto. The earthiness of the beets is best suited with a wine that has a bit of body, like a merlot.

You can’t go wrong serving this dish alongside seared steak or pork chops, but it also has the heft to stand alone.

Pairs well with a chilly evening and – you guessed it – a bottle of red wine.

Live.Love.Lux Tip: Sauté and simmer to perfection with the precise BTU performance of the Electrolux Gas Range with a Min-2-Max® Gas Burner.


Red Wine and Beet Risotto

"This is not a place to use “cooking wine.” Use a wine that you enjoy drinking in a glass, and the final dish will thank you." – Ashley

Servings: 2 - 4



2 medium beets

1 tablespoon of olive oil

5 tablespoons butter, diced into 4-5 pieces

1 medium onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 ½ cups arborio rice

6 sprigs fresh thyme

2 cups Merlot

4 cups chicken stock

Salt & pepper


Preheat oven to 375°F. Place beets on a large piece of aluminum foil, drizzle with olive oil and wrap them up tightly, forming a sealed package. Place on a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes. 

Allow to cool slightly, then peel and dice into 1/4" pieces. They will still be firm, and will continue to cook in the risotto.

Heat the stock in a saucepan and keep it warm at the side of the stove.

Add butter to a large saucepan over medium heat. Allow to brown slightly. Add onion and diced beets and a generous pinch of salt. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 10 minutes, stirring often.  Add garlic and sauté for 2 more minutes.

Now, stir in the rice and sauté it, stirring constantly, until it absorbs the moisture in the pan, about 2 minutes.

Stir in about half the wine with another big pinch of salt and simmer, stirring, until the rice starts to dry, 5-7 minutes. Add the rest of the wine and repeat.

Continue cooking, adding stock 2/3 cup at a time, stirring all the time and adding more stock when the last addition is absorbed. At the end of cooking, the rice should be tender, still slightly al dente and creamy from the starch that has begun to release from the grains. This will take 35 to 40 minutes.

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