What’s Burning: Risotto alle Fragole

P1100929It’s strawberry time all across the Bel Paese, just like it is in other countries that dot our little blue planet.

I don’t know about you, but I do enjoy strawberries and can’t seem to get enough of them before their short season in over.

Thankfully, I’m not allergic like some poor souls, so consuming them by the basketful is not a problem for me.

Strawberries over breakfast cereal | ©Tom Palladio ImagesPiled high atop cereal in the morning; over shortcake with a dollop of whipped cream for lunch; cut in half and dropped into a glass of Prosecco for an extra sparkling, early evening aperitivo; sliced, drizzled with lemon, a dash of white wine and sprinkled with a bit of sugar for a tangy dinnertime dessert; and, bitten right off the stem and enjoyed throughout the day, I’m doing my part to make this season’s strawberries extinct.

Good thing, too. Strawberries go bad. FAST. No sooner do you buy them than you have to rush home and commence eating them all before they change personalities. At night, before you turn the lights off, they look great in the bowl; come sunrise they’ve aged 30 years.

Sliced Strawberries | ©Tom Palladio ImagesI feel like it’s a race against the clock, and I’m running out of ways to consume them.

What’s next? Put them in a risotto and call it dinner? Hey, wait a minute. That’s a GREAT idea.

If you’ll grab that bucket of cold water over there and douse catnappin’ Lazy Person, my short-order cookin’ alter ego, I think we can make some whoopee in the galley before the berries go bad.


Risotto alle Fragole recipe graphic | ©Tom Palladio Images

Step-1: In a pot, pour in the vegetable broth, cover, fire up on HIGH, bring to a boil then reduce to LOW and let it percolate until Step-8.

Finely chop red onion | ©Tom Palladio Images  Finely chop the onion | ©Tom Palladio Images

Step-2: Finely chop the onion.

Slice the strawberries | ©Tom Palladio Images

Step-3: Slice the strawberries into very small pieces and place aside until Step-9.

Merge and the butter and olive oil | ©Tom Palladio Images

Step-4: In another pot, add the olive oil and butter, fire up to MEDIUM and let them merge.

Add the chopped onion and brown | ©Tom Palladio Images

Step-5: Lay the chopped onion into the pot, stir and let it brown lightly.

Add the rice and toast it | ©Tom Palladio Images

Step-6: Pour in the rice, stir constantly allowing the rice to toast (about 2 min.).

Step-7: Add the white wine, stir until the rice absorbs the liquid and the alcohol evaporates.

Begin adding the broth | ©Tom Palladio Images

Step-8: Ladle in the broth just enough to barely cover the rice and stir. When the rice absorbs the broth, add in more broth, again just enough to cover. Repeat this procedure for approximately 8 min., or for about four ladle sets total.

Add the strawberries into the rice | ©Tom Palladio Images

Step-9: Rice is now about half cooked. Pour in the strawberries and stir. Continue adding broth to the pot as the rice absorbs it for about 8 more min. or approximately four more ladle sets.

Grate the Parmigiano and prep the Gargonzola | ©Tom Palladio Images  Parmigiano and Gorgonzola cheese | ©Tom Palladio Images

Step-10: In between ladle sets, grate the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and set aside with the Gorgonzola until Step-12.

Step-11: The rice has now been cooking for about 16-min. and the last ladle set of broth should be absorbed by the rice. Turn heat OFF.

Step-12: Add the two cheeses, a dash of sea salt and several good twists with the pepper grinder, then stir until the cheese has melted and creamed up with the rice. Recover and let the risotto rest for 1-2 min.

Plated Risotto alle Fragole | ©Tom Palladio Images  Risotto alle Fragole | ©Tom Palladio Images

Step-13: Plate the rice, garnish with one cut strawberry on top and serve.



Recommended Wine PairingCostadolio Rosato IGTMaculan Società Agricolo — Breganze, Italy

Costadolio Rosato IGT ©Tom Palladio Images  Costadolio Rosato IGT | ©Tom Palladio Images

This light and lively rosé is made from 100% Merlot grapes. At 12.5% alcohol by volume, Costadolio Rosato IGT is intense with fruity aromas of peaches and lychee along with white flower petals. On the palate, it’s full-bodied and silky with a lovely, lingering acidity.

Risotto alle Fragole | ©Tom Palladio Images  Costadolio Rosato IGT | ©Tom Palladio Images

Costadolio Rosato IGT pairs well with pasta and risotto dishes — like ours with strawberries and Gorgonzola cheese — along with grilled or roasted fish.

Best served chilled at 10°C.


©The Palladian Traveler | ©Tom Palladio Images

TPT Borsalino red | ©Tom Palladio Images



    1. G’day Joanne. I’m sure you can find Costadolio Rosato in your neck of the woods. Maculan, the winery, exports to just about every corner of the globe. Go in search and let me know. Also, give the strawberry risotto (with the gorgonzola) a try; I’ll bet it’ll “thunder Down Under.” 🙂

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