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risotto! risotto!: 85 recipes and all the know-how you need to make italy's famous rice dish

by valentina harris

Risotto! Risotto!: 85 Recipes and All the Know-how You Need to Make Italy's Famous Rice Dish Valentina Harris describes her pleasure at having the opportunity to devote an entire book to risotto: and it shows. Risotto! Risotto! starts with the words "Making risotto is rather like making love. You must be in tune with and in the mood for what is going on. Be receptive to all the little creaking, popping, crackling noises..." Risotto is an exceptionally sensuous food, subtle, creamy and voluptuous, capable of infinite variety, ranging from ravishing simplicity and purity to fantastic elaboration. Risotto! Risotto! does this wonderful cooking method full justice.

Recipes are grouped by ingredient: Cheese and Egg; Vegetables; Mushrooms, Herbs and Truffles; Fish and Seafood; Meat; and (something of a surprise) Fruit, Alcohol and Sweet. The exemplary cheeses are creamy Fontina and pungent Gorgonzola; the risotto with beaten eggs is comfort food of the highest order. Artichokes, cardoons, spinach and walnuts, fennel and even potatoes are among the vegetables. Wild mushroom risotto, two versions of white truffle risotto, rocket, pesto, garlic and nettle recipes follow. Seafood recipes include mackerel (of all things), lobster, scallop, eel and cuttlefish with ink--the last gleamingly black and Art-Deco chic. Lamb, frogs' legs, duck, wild boar and hare are among the meats from which Valentina Harris coaxes risotti. The fruit-based and sweet risotti (strawberries, melon) of the final chapter are of recent origin and quite extraordinary, but recall the probable Arab origins of Italian rice cookery. And champagne risotto? A quite marvellous book. --Robin Davidson

posted 17 Apr 2006 at 14:48:16

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