Red Wine Is A Must-Have Ingredient For Copycat Gordon Ramsay Risotto

Food world celebs serve much the same purpose as the non-food kind do — appearing on TV, spamming social media, landing in the tabloids — but they also keep us supplied with the kinds of recipes that may be more fun to read than they are practicable to cook. That's okay, since here at Mashed we have a team of recipe whisperers who put their own spin on celeb recipes like Gordon Ramsay's risotto. While his original calls for fairly large amounts of butter and cheese (neither of which are exactly cheap these days), developer Sher Castellano reduces the amounts of both ingredients, thus lightening things up to an extent. The biggest change she makes, however, is introducing red wine to the dish.

In Castellano's opinion, the red wine "pair[s] perfectly with the earthy mushrooms" she uses in her risotto. She even asserts that her dish has "a more complex flavor" than the Scottish chef's version. (Can't you just see the steam pouring out of the ears of an angry Ramsay?) She also feels that using wine compensates for the reduction in dairy, making the risotto more flavorful than fatty.

What kind of wine would work for this risotto?

While Sher Castellano didn't tell us the exact type of wine she used for this dish, other than saying it was a red one, she did mention that her use of it was inspired by risottos from Italy's Piedmont region. As she notes, "Red wine risotto is a classic northern Italian dish." If you want a Piedmont wine for your risotto, two of the best-known regionals are Barolo and Barbaresco, both of which are fruity and tart yet high in tannins. If you're shopping in a grocery store with a limited wine selection, though, a domestic pinot noir would be more or less in the same ballpark.

Because you'll be using just half a cup of wine for cooking, you don't need to buy a bottle specifically for this dish. Instead, you can go with any type of red wine that you enjoy drinking or else tap into a bargain boxed wine that you might keep on hand for cooking purposes. Your wine should probably be on the dry side, since a sweet wine might not play as nicely with the mushrooms, chives, and parmesan.