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Our increasing passion towards rice varieties and risotto is filling us with energies and initiatives. As part of the Riso e Risotti campaign we are inviting local chefs to submit to us their innovative recipes using the Carnaroli and Vialone nano rice varieties. We are curious to discover their creation of scrumptious risotto recipes, their chosen combination of ingredients and the methods they apply to create what they believe is a good risotto.

This time Chef James Schiavone from Tartarun Restaurant in Marsaxlokk, chose the Carnaroli rice variety to prepare his mare e monti risotto, apparently a much applauded item on his specials menu. The marriage of ingredients from the earth with those from the sea give birth to this delicate and rich risotto.

Ingredients for 4 people:

  • 320g Carnaroli rice
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 shallots
  • Approx. 800ml prawn stock
  • 150g portobello mushrooms
  • 8 slices speck
  • 160g peeled prawns
  • 120g Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 60g buttter
  • Truffle oil
  • Red chard leaves, to decorate (optional)


Prawn stock

  • 800g prawn shells
  • 100g Carrots, finely chopped
  • 100g Onions, finely chopped
  • 80g Celery, finely chopped
  • 80g Fennel, finely chopped
  • 20g Garlic, crushed
  • 40g Tomato paste
  • 200ml White wine
  • 2 ltr Water
  • 500ml Tomato juice
  • Bouquet garni
  • Pepper corns

To prepare the prawn stock:

  1. Sweat the prawn shells in olive oil until golden. Remove shells and drain the fat.
  2. In the same pan sweat the celery, onion, fennel and carrots in some olive oil and butter. Add the garlic and sweat for about 5 mins, add the tomato paste. Cook for another 4 to 5 minutes, add the white wine and reduce by half.
  3. Add the shells, bouquet garni, water, and tomato juice, bring to boil and skim any fat from surface.
  4. Simmer for 45 minutes. When ready pass well through a fine sieve.
  5. Place the stock back on the stove on low heat, and skim the remaining impurities, taste and season with salt, sugar and fresh lemon juice. Keep boiling for the risotto.

Risotto Mare e Monti

Risotto Mare Monti

To prepare the risotto:

  1. In a thick bottom pan, pour a few tablespoons of cooking oil. Add the rice, lightly toast. After a minute add 700 ml of boiling stock at once. Mix gently and simmer on low heat for approximately 13 minutes.
  2. In a separate pan pour some oil, when the pan is hot add the garlic and shallots, toss occasionally, add the Portobello mushrooms, until lightly brown. Add the prawns and sauté.
  3. When the rice is ready. Add the butter and Parmesan. Add ½ a ladle of stock to make it as runny as you like. Stir well. Place a lid on the pan and allow to sit for 2 minutes. This stage is very important when making a good risotto. Taste and season. The risotto should be creamy.
  4. Fold in the prawns and mushrooms mixture and plate.
  5. Garnish with the speck a drizzle of truffle oil and leaves of red chard.
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