By Apicius International School of Hospitality


It’s that time of year when the days are short and the evenings are crisp; where you just want to curl up in front of an open fire with your family and have something wholesome and nutritious to provide comfort for the cold days ahead.

This delicious recipe dreamt up by the skilled chefs at Apicius has been cleverly paired with the Santa Cristina Maestrelle 2011 I.G.T wine. Pigeon and liver are perfect for the winter combined with the goodness of the risotto creating a hearty dish. Risotto is normally served with a few very simple ingredients, however this dish is perfect as a main dish to share with friends and family.

Cooking: 2 h

Cottura: 20 min




— 2 stalks of celery

— 3 onions

— 2 cleaned pigeons

— 2 pigeon livers

— 1 glass of red wine

— Rosemary and sage chopped finely together

— 1 spoon of tomato paste


— 350g Carnaroli rice

— 200g Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

— 50g butter

— 30ml Vinsanto wine

— 2l stock (vegetable or chicken)

— Salt and pepper

— Extra virgin olive oil

— 1 medium onion


  1. Chop celery and onions and cook down in olive oil with chopped rosmary and sage (20 minutes, adding water if neccesary). Add whole pigeon and liver and cook until golden. Add wine and salt and pepper. Reduce wine.
  2. Cover with water, add spoon of tomato paste and cover, cooking sauce down at a low heat. When the meat starts falling off the bone let it chill. Pull the meat off the bone, making sure that there’s no bones in your sauce (gloves are recommended for this procedure). Boil together.
  3. For your risotto, chop your onion into small dice and sweet in a pan with olive oil on medium/low heat until the onion is soft and tender. Toast your rice for a minute or two, making sure you don’t brown your rice but just get each grain warm, then add your Vin Santo and cook until it evaporates. Now you can start adding your pigeon sauce (4 spoons).
  4. Keep stirring and adding stock (if you add too much stock at once you loose control over the cooking time and texture of your risotto), little at a time for around 10min, season your risotto, and keep cooking until the rice is al dente. Now take your risotto off the heat and add the butter and parmesan cheese, stir through so your risotto is creamy and at the right consistency.

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