Risotto al Cavolo Nero in una salsa di gorgonzola e noci

I first ate this rich, flavorful dish at a local restaurant in the hills of Lucca. I liked it so much, I think I ordered it about three times in a row. Then decided to try my hand at making it. The below recipe is the result of my experimentation.

Tuscan Kale Risotto in a Gorgonzola and walnut sauce


  • 500 grams Tuscan Kale also known as Lacinato Kale
  • ½ cup vegetable broth, not too salty
  • 1 vegetable bouillon
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 500 grams Arborio rice ( I normally use brown rice to be healthy, but the Arborio tastes better)
  • ½ cup low fat cooking cream
  • 100 grams gorgonzola cheese (if you like this cheese, use more to make a sharper sauce)
  • hand full of walnuts
  • salt and pepper to taste

Start by washing the kale and removing the stems. Then, with a scissors, cut it into inch long pieces and put it in a deep pot to boil down with the vegetable broth on low heat, cover.
When the kale is nice and soft, transfer about a third of it to a blender and blend. Then slowly add the rest of the mixture, bit by bit, adding and blending until the entire lot is blended into a puree.
In another pot add the olive oil and the vegetable bouillon to low heat and let the olive oil melt the bouillon.
Add the rice and sauté it for about a minute. Then add hot water slowly, a cup at a time, letting the rice absorb the water little by little, and cook the rice and bouillon mixture.
When there is still a little water left in the rice and the rice is almost cooked through, add the puree of kale to the rice and stir over low heat.
As the mixture gets drier, slowly add in the low fat cooking cream. If you are using the Arborio rice, you may even skip the cream if you like, as long as the rice has a creamy consistency. I add it in when I use the brown rice as it does not get as creamy as the Arborio. You may not need to add the whole half cup. I usually go easy on the cream as I'm going to add the gorgonzola sauce on top and don't want the dish to feel too heavy. Add just enough to make the consistency creamy without feeling heavy.
Once you have that slightly gooey risotto consistency, turn off flame.
In a saucepan over very low heat, add two or three tablespoons of the left over low fat cooking cream and 100 or so grams of gorgonzola cheese. The amount of gorgonzola depends on how sharp you want the sauce to turn out. I normally start out by adding in a slice that is as long and wide as my index finger, then I slowly add more as I taste. Always stir as this can easily get overcooked. To finish chop up the walnuts finely and add to the sauce.
Spoon some risotto in a dish and drizzle it with the gorgonzola sauce.
Season to taste with fresh cracked black pepper and salt.

Note: you can do the same dish in the Spring substituting the kale for fresh nettles (ortica in Italian) and it tastes delicious.

posted by gina, 2009-11-24

[Recipe] []


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