Carnaroli Rice Risotto

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

Although Arborio is the variety of rice most commonly used for making risotto in the United States, Italians use several different types of rice to make their country’s iconic dish. Carnaroli, known as the “king of Italian rices,” has an even higher starch content than Arborio, resulting in a lush, velvety risotto, which makes it perfect for this elemental dish from Chef Thomas Keller.


  • 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) heavy cream
  • 4 cups (32 fl. oz./1 l) unseasoned light chicken stock or broth
  • 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) canola oil
  • 1/2 cup (3 1/2 oz./105 g) very finely minced onion
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more, to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups (10.5 oz./300 g) Carnaroli rice
  • 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc
  • 8 Tbs. (1 stick) (4 oz./125 g) cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2 oz. (60 g) Parmesan cheese, grated with a rasp grater (about
      1 cup)


In a bowl, use a whisk to whip the cream to firm peaks. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

Pour the chicken stock into a pot, bring it to a simmer and turn the heat down to the lowest setting. Cover the pot to prevent evaporation. Heat a 5-quart (5-l) sauteuse over medium-low heat and add the oil. Add the onion and 2 tsp. salt. Slowly cook the onions, taking care not to brown them, until they are completely soft, reducing the heat if necessary to keep the onions from browning. Add the rice and continue to cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, for 3 minutes. Add the white wine and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until all of the wine has been absorbed by the rice. Keep cooking the rice until you can no longer smell the alcohol aroma from the wine.

Ladle enough of the hot chicken stock over the rice to barely cover it. Continue to cook, stirring, until the stock is absorbed. Add more stock to cover the rice and stir continuously as the stock is absorbed. Repeat this process until most of the stock is absorbed and the rice is cooked but the center is still al dente. You may not need all of the stock, so it is important to taste the rice frequently in order to determine its doneness. Once the rice is cooked to al dente, add the butter and vigorously beat it into the rice until it is emulsified. Add the Parmesan and stir until thoroughly combined. If necessary, add a little more chicken stock so that the rice is creamy and the surface naturally flattens out in the pan (it shouldn’t form peaks). Adjust the seasoning with salt and then rapidly stir in the whipped cream. Divide the risotto between 4 warm plates and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Recipe by Thomas Keller, Chef/Owner, The French Laundry

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