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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.

Our first contribution comes from Chef James Schiavone from Tartarun Restaurant in Marsaxlokk, a vegetarian risotto recipe hailing the sweetness of carrots and the earthy flavour of mushrooms using the Vialone Nano rice type.

Ingredients for Carrot and parmesan risotto

Ingredients for 4 people:

  • 320g  Vialone nano rice
  • 300g carrot puree
  • 60g butter
  • 150g Parmesan shavings
  • Approx. 800ml of vegetable stock
  • 4 baby carrots peeled, cut in four
  • 160g oyster mushrooms, cleaned
  • Thyme flowers

Carrot puree

  • 1 white onion
  • ½ a leek
  • 8 carrots
  • Knob of butter
  • Extra virgin olive oil

To prepare the carrot puree:

  1. Chop up the onion, leek and carrots.
  2. Pour the oil in a pan and sweat the vegetables without browning them.
  3. Add enough water just to cover the vegetables.
  4. Bring to boil and keep simmering until carrots are cooked.
  5. Add the butter.
  6. Blend and pass through a fine strainer to form a puree.

Vegetable stock

  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 2 white onions
  • 1 leek
  • 6 carrots
  • ½ head of garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Thyme
  • Flat parsley
  • Peppercorns

To prepare the vegetable stock:

  1. Roughly chop the vegetables and put them in a large pot.
  2. Pour cold water just enough to cover the vegetables.
  3. Bring to boil and simmer for about 20 minutes
  4. Pass through a fine strainer and keep the stock aside.
  5. Any leftover stock can be frozen.

Carrot and parmesan risotto with roasted baby carrots and oyster mushrooms

Carrot and parmesan risotto with roasted baby carrots and oyster mushrooms

To prepare the risotto:

  1. In a thick bottom pan, pour a few tablespoons of cooking oil. Add the rice, toast lightly, and after a minute it will look slightly translucent. Then pour a ladle of the boiling stock. Lower heat and simmer for a minute.
  2. Add the carrot puree, stir well, and then add another ladle of stock. Keep adding a ladle of stock at a time, stirring and letting the creamy starch ooze out of the rice. Allow each ladle of stock to be absorbed before adding the next.
  3. Place the baby carrots in a dish, season with olive oil, salt and pepper and put in a hot oven until nicely roasted.
  4. In a separate pan pour some oil, when the pan is hot add the roughly chopped oyster mushrooms. Toss the mushrooms and season with salt and fresh thyme.
  5. Taste the rice. It should be soft but with a slight bite. When ready remove from the heat. I like my risotto slightly runny so when the rice is ready I add an extra ½ ladle of stock. Add the butter and Parmesan. Stir well and taste for seasoning. Risotto should be nice and creamy.
  6. Place a lid on the pan and allow to sit for 2 minutes. This stage is very important to make a good risotto.
  7. Plate the risotto and garnish with the roasted baby carrots, oyster mushrooms, some parmesan shavings and radish leaves.

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