Primitivo Risotto Recipe

Risotto is one of my favorite dishes to come from my love of Italy. I don't remember where I was the first time I ate it but I do remember where I was the first time I ate it made with the luscious red Primitivo wine from Puglia. It was a beautiful afternoon in a beautiful little home, on a street I couldn't find again, in beautiful Manduria, in Puglia. It was an unforgettable day filled with new sites, smells and tastes. From primitivo risotto to torta siciliana, every flavor was new and exciting. Every moment worth remembering. This risotto's look was so unexpected, so gorgeously burgundy. It's flavor was so new, so exotic and so delicious! Impossible to imagine it until you have tried it, impossible to stop dreaming about it after you've had it. A little bit like Italy ;)

I may never had tried this recipe or had this afternoon if we hadn't decided to sign up for a cooking experience through my friend Antimo's travel company Voomago. We said we wanted to cook and make desserts and be surrounded by Italy and it happened. We wanted to eat and smile and have a delicious experience and it happened. Antimo created and invited us to spend the afternoon with his friends, making, baking and enjoying incredible things.  It was heaven for me as Italian flew from mouths and swirled around my head. I tried to catch every word as I rolled and stirred and played with marzipan. I tried to take in everything as the minutes and hours passed in this little Italian we laughed and learned....and as we experienced what we set out to experience. It was everything we wanted and we made some unforgettable friends and some beautiful Italian dishes. This recipe is one of them.

Primitivo risotto

  • 2 Cups Primitivo wine
  • 3 1/2 - 4 Cups chicken broth
  • 4 Tablespoons of butter
  • 1 Small to medium yellow onion chopped
  • 1 Cup Arborio rice
  • 1/3 Cup Parmigiano reggiano cheese grated + more for platting
  • Salt and pepper to taste


1. Heat the broth and keep warm.

2. Over med heat melt the butter.  Add the chopped onion and a pinch of salt and saute until the onions start to soften - about 5 min. Add the rice and toast for 3 - 4 min until opaque - stirring often.

3. Add in half of the red wine and simmer. When almost completely absorbed, add a ladle full of broth, just enough to cover the rice. Continue simmering until almost all of the broth is absorbed. Add the rest of the wine and repeat.

4. Continue adding the broth a ladle full at the time, simmering until the broth is absorbed. Repeat this until the rice is tender, stirring often. 

5. When the rice is tender, take off the heat and stir in the remaining tablespoon of butter and 1/3 cup cheese. Season as desired with salt and pepper.

Serve with the extra grated cheese and maybe (definitely) a little Primitivo wine :)

Buon Appetito!