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Courtesy Villa d'Este

Risotto Primavera (with spring vegetables) is one of the popular risottos prepared at Villa d’Este by Executive Chef Luciano Parolari on romantic Lake Como in Italy. Throughout the world, Chef Parolari has been known as the “King of Risotto” for good reason!

The Gourmet Review would like to wish Executive Chef Luciano Parolari good luck, as he retires from many decades of taking care of guests at the resort. The new Executive Chef is Michele Zambanini, who has been Chef Parolari’s assistant for many years. Chef Michele will continue Luciano’s traditions, which include cooking classes for resident guests and daily visits to the chef’s garden.




6 cups vegetable stock

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

l small onion, chopped

2 cups Carnaroli rice (or substitute Arborio rice)

1/2 cup dry white wine

l carrot, diced

l celery stalk, chopped

1/2 red pepper, chopped (optional)

1/2 yellow pepper, chopped (optional)

3 1/2 ozs string beans, trimmed and chopped

1 zucchini, diced

1/2 cup fresh green peas

3 ozs Taleggio cheese, diced

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley

6 basil leaves, minced

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste



Bring the stock to a boil in a medium saucepan, then reduce the heat and keep at a bare simmer.

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until softened and translucent, about 3 minutes.

Add the rice and cook, stirring for about 3 minutes, until every grain is coated with oil. Then add the wine and stir until absorbed.

Add l cup of the stock and stir until the liquid is absorbed.  When the stock comes to a boil, add the carrot, celery, bell pepper, string beans, zucchini, and peas.  Continue adding stock, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently and making sure all the liquid is absorbed before adding more stock.  Continue to add stock.

Cook until the rice is just tender and creamy, but still al dente, 15 to 20 minutes.  You ay have leftoer stock.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the Taleggio cheese, butter, Parmesan cheese, parsley, basil and salt and pepper to taste.

Let the risotto rest for a minute or two and serve with additional Parmesan cheese on the side.



– The Gourmet Review


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