We have returned from the Merano Wine Festival full of enthusiasm and happy with the wonderful experience. Needless to say, being at one of the nation’s most important food and wine events had an invigorating effect. I was accompanied by Luca Puzzuoli,  the promoter of  Risate e Risotti .

Simply Red: a risotto for the Merano Wine Festival


I delighted the audience with a risotto that pays homage to taste, Italy and the pleasure of savouring a simple yet tasty and refined dish.

What did I prepare at the Merano Wine Festival?

The Simply Red Ristotto with Parmesan cheese, Parma ham, Infinito extra virgin olive oil, raspberry compote with Monti Cimini chilli and Ciro Flagella tomatoes.

Since I do not only want to make you curious, but I would also love you to try this treat, here is the recipe to prepare it!



Simply Red Risotto at the Merano Wine Festival

carbohydrates 31.5g per 100g without raspberry compote

Ingredients for 4 servings

  • approx. 2 litres of previously prepared vegetable stock
  • 360g Carnaroli rice
  • 120g fresh cherry tomatoes or Ciro Flagella cherry tomatoes
  • 80g Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
  • 60g Parma ham, more than 15 months’ maturation
  • 30g butter
  • 30g onions
  • 10g brown sugar
  • raspberry compote from Monti Cimini with chilli, Infinito extra virgin olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper


  1. Slice the ham into rather thick slices, about 1-2 mm, then put them in the freezer for at least 3 hours: you will see that they will not freeze, but, thanks to the salt content, they will simply become very cold and rather stiff.
  2. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half, place them on a baking tin covered with parchment paper with the cut side down and sprinkle with brown sugar, oil, salt, pepper and thyme leaves.
  3. Put them in a convection oven preheated to 180°C for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  4. Take a rather large non-stick pan and sprinkle it with 20 g of grated Parmesan cheese so that it covers the entire surface. Place the pan on the heat and allow the cheese to melt without burning, then remove the pan from the heat and allow the cheese to cool: you have your cheese crisp.
  5. For the risotto, put about 20 g of extra virgin olive oil in a saucepan with the chopped onion. Allow the mince to soften and brown, then add the rice and toast it on a high heat (it took me 3 minutes to get the grains nice and transparent with a white kernel in the centre). Start adding the boiling stock and continue stirring, adding more stock only when the rice has absorbed almost all the liquid.
  6. In the meantime, place the ‘frozen’ ham in a very sharp food processor and blend it into a kind of coarse flour.
  7. When the rice is cooked, but still al dente, turn off the heat, add the blended ham and mix well. At this point, stir in the very cold butter and the remaining grated Parmesan cheese. Let the risotto rest for at least 1 minute covered with a dish towel. Serve and complete each plate with some confit tomatoes, a piece of Parmesan crisp and a few pinches of chilli raspberry compote.
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