Risotto dishes

Big plains of risotto rice grow in the north of Italy so I grew up eating a lot of risotto. Risotto rice has the ability to absorb liquids and to release starch and so they are stickier than the long grain varieties. It is this sticky quality that enables the rice to be cooked in a broth to a creamy consistency to which you can add meat, fish or vegetables.

There are many different risotto recipes with different ingredients but in this lesson I want to teach you risotto al tastasal, an absolute mainstay of the rice producing Veneto region, and Asparagus Risotto, a very simple and tasty meal to enjoy with the flavorsome British asparagus.

Tastasal (taste the salt) is the pork mince used to make salami, and indeed the housewives of the Verona would make this risotto to judge the seasoning of their salami before putting the filling into the casing. These days In Italy you can buy tastasal ready from the butchers. But in the Uk you’ll still have to learn how to make it just like housewives of Verona. Much tastier too!

Copyright 2012 Laura Pirani