The perfect risotto by Riccardo Camanini, the chef of the moment (and an unsurpassed recipe)

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If until a few years ago rice, or rather risotto, was one of the symbols of northern cuisine, by now cooks and enthusiasts have begun to appreciate it (and understand it) even far below the Po. Risotto with pizzaiola from Antonino Cannavacciuolo (Campania), the Star anise risotto with salsify and powder from black cabbage by Antonio Guida (Apulian) or the Marinara risotto from Pino Cuttaia (Sicilian). Having said that, it is a good time for rice which in our country – the first producer in Europe – is growing from a qualitative point of view and has only had to gain with the arrival of international varieties and the spread of oriental cuisine. Ultimately, if we want, the only brake on the popularity of rice is that it requires a less simple preparation technique than pasta. The comparison is immediate. On the one hand, a saucepan is heated, two penne (or two spaghetti) are thrown in and a tomato sauce is quickly prepared, if it is not already ready. On the other hand, it takes the right “hand” and constant attention to the preparation from the roasting of the beans to the final finishing. We have obviously simplified how it can be that the sauce in question, however elementary, is worse than the creaming. But there is a difference.

For this, a basic “culture” on risotto is needed and we turned to one of the masters in Italy: Riccardo Camanini, chef-patron of Lido 84 in Gardone Riviera (BS), the restaurant of the moment in light of the sensational 15th place in the last The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, in front of all the best compatriots. A premise is a must: Camanini is a “Marquesan” who has not forgotten the teachings on risotto of the Maestro dei Maestri. «When I arrived at the Albereta di Erbusco in 1993, after various internships in hotels, I immediately understood what it meant to approach with head and heart that dish that until then I had found routine. Gualtiero Marchesi he taught me, like everyone else, to cook rice in water and not in broth, to know the various types and to use acid butters. We needed the Carnaroli as if it were the canvas of a painting, another world compared to classic dishes, with the Vialone Nano, that I had previously used. In short, it is no coincidence that all the young people who grew up with him love to prepare risottos, starting from the same technique and introducing their own creative vision ». In the gallery, Camanini’s advice, who also gives us an original recipe: the interpretation of a dish that cannot be more homely and is in the (right) spirit of recovering leftovers: Reheated rice.

Reheated rice

Ingredients for 4 people:

For the tomato paste oil: Tropea red onion gr. 20, tomato paste gr. 200 extra virgin olive oil gr. 200.
For the rice: Carnaroli gr. 100, tomato paste oil gr. 20, tomato paste gr. 20, dried plums gr. 20, vermouth gr. 20, sancho pepper gr. 2, salt to taste


First you need to make the tomato paste oil: fry the onion in the oil slowly, add the tomato paste, cook at 80º for 24 hours and filter. We move on to heated rice: toast the rice in concentrated oil, wet with water and stir in the tomato paste and again with a little concentrated oil, season with salt. Spread unevenly and keep refrigerated. Blend the vermouth with the plum and pepper, season with salt and keep the sauce at room temperature. Heat the rice on the grill or in the oven at 180 ° so as to toast it on the surface and make it crunchy. Toss with the plum and vermouth sauce.

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