Concord Grape Risotto with smoked ricotta cheese & Grape puddings with whipped cream and salted almonds
For Risotto:
  • 320 g risotto rice (I used Vialone Nano quality)
  • 400 g very ripe Concord grapes
  • 1 leek
  • 1 glass of red wine
  • 1 liter of organic vegetable stock
  • 30 g Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (grated)
  • 50 g smoked sheep ricotta cheese (grated)
  • 60 g butter
For puddings:
  • 1 kg Concord grapes
  • 100 g sugar
  • 100 ml water
  • 40 g corn starch
  • 1 cup of whipped cream
  • 100 g chopped almonds
  • 1 pinch of salt
How to make risotto:
  1. Wash and dry the grapes. Using a vegetable mill, get out the grapes juice and pulp and throw away peels and seeds. Keep aside.
  2. Wash and clean the leek. Slice the white part thinly and place half of the butter in a saucepan. Fry it over a gentle flame.
  3. Separately, heat the vegetable stock in a saucepan.
  4. Add the rice and turn up the heat – the rice will now begin to lightly fry, so keep stirring it with a wooden spoon. After 1 minute it will look slightly translucent.
  5. Add the red wine and keep stirring until the wine is completely absorbed by the rice.
  6. Add your first ladle of hot stock and turn the heat down to minimum. Keep adding ladlefuls of stock, stirring and allowing each ladleful to be absorbed before adding the next. This will take around 10 minutes.
  7. Risotto usually cooks in between 15 and 18 minutes, so about 5-8 minutes before the rice is cooked (check cooking times according to the quality of the rice you're using), add the juice and the pulp of the grapes you obtained previously.
  8. Keep stirring until the rice is cooked. You can taste the rice and, if it seems that it is not cooked yet, carry on adding a bit of stock until the rice is soft but with a slight bite. Add salt according to your taste.
  9. Remove the pan from the heat and add the remaining butter and the grated Parmesan or Grana cheese, stirring well to get a creamy risotto.
  10. Serve immediately, after sprinkling it with a handful of grated smoked ricotta and a few fresh grapes to make it pretty!
How to make puddings:
  1. Wash and dry the grapes, then shell them and place them in a saucepan together with the sugar. Cook the grapes over low heat for about 15 minutes, until the grapes are mushed. When the grapes are still hot, pass them in a vegetable mill, thus removing the seeds and skins, then pour the juicy pulpe you have obtained into a bowl. Pour again the pulp into the saucepan.
  2. Separately, in another bowl, mix the cornstarch in water using a whisk to avoid the formation of lumps and then add the mixture to the grape pulp into the saucepan.
  3. Put the saucepan back on low heat and, stirring constantly with the whisk, cook for about 10/15 minutes, until the mixture has thickened. If it still looks a little liquid, you do not need to worry: it will thicken further after it has cooled down.
  4. Pour immediately the pudding into the cups and let it cool down, first at room temperature and then in the refrigerator. In the meantime, quickly toast the almonds in a non-stick pan together with a pinch of salt. When the puddings are cold, garnish with whipped cream and a handful of salted almonds.
Recipe by The Freaky Table at