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Risotto not Italian style

Let this recipe change how to cook Risotto

Of all the rice-based recipes, risotto can be just one of our favourites - especially when appropriately made, al dente, rich and creamy but not heavy. It is very simple as long as you do not consult relatives, books and cooks who preserve the myths surrounding the risotto. Risotto is an ideal solution if you want to cook something delicious, easy and fast without much effort.

To achieve all of the above you need to have excellent quality rice and the ingredients that will give it the desired taste you also have to understand how to cook the rice to provide you with the cream wich everybody craves.

The varieties considered best for risotto are Arborio, Baldo, Carnaroli, Maratelli and Vialone Nano. They have a high starch content (amylopectin), and a low starch content gives them the ability to absorb liquids and release starch. They have slightly different properties. For example, Carnaroli is less likely to be baked than Vialone Nano, but the latter, because it is smaller, cooks faster and absorbs spices better. For example, Vialone Nano, because it is smaller, cooks faster and absorbs spices better than Carnaroli, which is used in many kitchens because it forgives small cooking mistakes.

Adding a little liquid each time, it is not a fetish of the cooks, but a necessary technique because it makes the starch secreted on the outside of the grains while its centre remains stable. This creates the need to continue stirring so that the rice does not stick at pots bottom. This technique is perfect but presents two problems, first is that you need to be present all the time, and the second is that by mixing, the grains of rice break and the sense of al dente is lost.

The risotto I make is the result of combining two classic rice cooking techniques Italian and more specifically Lombardy and Japanese. From Italy, I have kept the already heated broth at 80 degrees because I know that from 70 to 80 degrees the starch is extracted from the surface of the grain. From Japan, I have kept the pressure technique they use to make sushi.

What I do is sauté the onion in this case and the carrot and moisten them with a little vinegar, after it evaporates I add the rice and the broth, cover it with a lid and add weight so that the steam does not escape easily creating pressure in the pot. After ten minutes, I remove the lid, and I add a little more broth, stirring gently, trying to correct the texture and taste. Finally, I remove the pot from the heat, add grated cheese and, depending on the recipe, butter or olive oil, I cover and wait another five minutes, then I reveal, stir vigorously but carefully, and the risotto is ready.

This is a Crustacean risotto based on shrimp and crayfish broth and oil. Whenever I have Crustacean, I boil the shells to make broth, Then I strain them, keep the broth and bake the shells on the grill to produce the aromas of the roast after they cool down a bit, I immerse them in olive oil for a few days so that the olive oil gets their aroma and colour.

Rice like for Sushi is the most important so I use the best Vialone Nano and Carnaroli from the Riseria Delle Abbadesse. 130 hectares cultivated in Benedictine estates from the 16th century with a yield of fifty kilos per hectare, rice has become a specialized product of Vicenza region.

Recipe for two

120g Rice Vialone Nano

300ml Crustacean broth

20ml Crustacean Oil

10ml Olive Oil

3g Mustard powder

1 Fresh Onion

1 Carotte

30gr Parmesan cheese (grated)

Rocket leaves


Dice the Fresh Onion and the carotte then sauté in Olive Oil. When they are softened, add the Mustard powder and the vinegar? Once is evaporated add the rice and 250ml Crustacean broth, cover the pot and wait ten minutes. After ten minutes reveal the lid and taste the rice, it maybe needs little more Crustacean broth to correct the texture or salt for the taste. When is ready, take the pot out of the fire and add the parmesan cheese, the Dill and the Crustacean Oil, put the lid on and after 5 minutes stir it well and it's ready.

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