Posted by: lisetta | November 14, 2009

B2 Risotto

I’ve gone out a few times with this really interesting man who’s got a greenhouse. On our date last night, he brought me a gift of herbs: mint, rosemary and bay leaves. Oh dear. I was inspired to use the rosemary in a risotto. It was the best one I’ve made in months. Here goes:

B2 Risotto – with butternut squash and butter beans

Saute chopped shallots in a bit of oil and butter until softened.

Add copious amounts of chopped rosemary, and marvel at the aroma.

Throw in a few handfuls of cubed, uncooked butternut squash

Then a handful per serving of carnaroli rice.

Cover with homemade chicken (or vegetable) stock and cook away until the rice is both glutinous and al dente.

Shave on some parmigiano reggiano and call it a meal.


I ate this alone tonight, wondering if I could modify it for the man who brought me the rosemary. He’s a vegan. And he doesn’t eat pasta. I still don’t understand the not eating pasta thing, but will get to the bottom of it if he’ll let me. I’m really surprised I genuinely like him anyway.

I’m really looking forward to my trip to Italy in December. Will go to Eataly and buy some more rice from this Piemontese producer.


According to the web pages of Eataly, Falasco rice is produced by the Cirio family, who’ve been cultivating rice for six generations.  Planted in April and harvested between September and October, Falasco carnaroli rice is dried and stored for about a year before it’s prepared for the vacuum pack. Traditionalists agree that Falasco makes the best carnaroli in Italy. This year I’m going to buy some Falasco venere nero rice as well. 🙂

Driving from Malpensa a Milano to Torino takes you right through the rice fields. When I first arrived in Italy in ’89, I remember being surprised to learn that Italy produces more rice than anywhere in Europe. I don’t know why I can’t buy Falasco rice in the States. Still feel duped that the Eataly in New York did not open as planned, but read earlier this year that it is supposed to open by late 2009. We’ll see!



  1. What? Doesn’t eat pasta?
    There’s a red flag for you.

  2. Yeah, I know! It was so funny when he told me this, in a casual passing comment, as if it didn’t matter. Vegans are foodies, too, after all. Anthony Bourdain refers to them as the “Hezbollah-like splinter faction of the vegetarians”. I can relate to being thought of as a food terrorist; can’t at all imagine not using pasta as a tool to express my values. What you call a red flag, I’m trying not to call a dealbreaker. 🙂

  3. I remember that quote! Ha ha–a vegan in your life now.

  4. […] year at this time, I wrote about wanting to buy Falasco venere rice on my trip to Eataly in Torino. I did, and bought it again […]

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