|Renato Piccolotto the risotto maestro|
Orient Express invited me to a special dinner and cooking class at the Queen Victoria Market to sample Renato’s delicious risotto, and even better to discover the secret as to how he makes it. The thing Renato swears by is using carnaroli rice. Arborio, which I have been using all these years, is not good enough according to Renato and carnaroli rice is key, preferably the Riseria Gazzani brand which is from Verona. It is $15 in Australia in specialty food stores and a bargain £4.79 in the UK online from Melton and Appleton.
|Canraroli rice is key to a good risotto|
Renato Piccolotto’s risotto primavera
200g carnaroli rice
2 litres of beef and chicken stock (use vegetable stock if cooking for vegetarians)
100g green asparagus, diced
1 artichoke, diced
50g fresh peas
30g peeled tomatoes, diced
5g capsicum, diced
50g parmesan cheese, grated
1 onion, diced
150g zucchini, diced
1 stalk of white celery, diced
4 zucchini flowers
100g french beans, diced
|The sautéed vegetables|
1. Heat a quarter of the butter with half the onion and sauté all the vegetables (apart from the zucchini flowers) to bring out the colour.
2. In another pan heat a quarter of the butter and brown the rest of the onion until tender. Stir in the rice and cook until it is translucent, stirring all the time.
3. Add a little of the stock and cook rapidly until it is absorbed, then add a little more and repeat the process, stirring frequently.
|Adding in the butter and parmesan at the end (this was a risotto for 12 people so there is a lot more butter than is called for in the recipe for four).|
4. After then minutes add the sautéed vegetables, then cook for a further ten minutes or until the rice is cooked and the stock is absorbed. The mixture should not be dry.
5. At the last minute add the zucchini blossom, remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
6. Beat in the remaining butter and parmesan and season to taste.
|The finished risotto primavera|
Gourmet Chick attended a complimentary cooking class thanks to Orient Express.