Choose the right vessel: a wide pot with a heavy bottom, so the heat is evenly distributed during cooking.

In order to toast the grains, heat the pot over medium-high heat and add olive oil and a small finely chopped onion when the oil simmers. Sautè for 2 to 3 minutes or until slightly translucent. N.B. As you will read in the recipes of the amazing Chefs who embrace and enhance Cascina Oschiena's rices and philosophy they “dry” toast the rice: heat the pot, pour the rice alone and add olive oil when the rice has been toasted for a couple of minutes (stirring the rice and not letting it turn brown)

Add the Classic Arborio/Classic Carnaroli rice to the pot, allowing it to absorb the oil. Stir constantly to prevent sticking.

After a minute or so, the rice will begin to release a distinct nutty smell and will become hot to touch. At this point, the grains are toasted.

Cook your risotto on a low, simmering heat and add the stock gradually, one ladle at a time. This gives the rice time to fully absorb the liquid and flavors. If you pour in the stock all at once, you are just boiling rice. By slowly adding stock, you allow the rice grains to bump up against each other, creating that creamy starch. Wait until the rice absorbs all the stock to add some more. Keep in mind the ratio: about 3 cups of stock for every cup of Arborio/Carnaroli rice. Keep the stock simmering in a small pot so everything stays hot and cooks evenly.

Stirring the rice is important, because a risotto's creaminess comes from the starch generated when grains of rice rub against each other. So stir it often, but feel free to give your arms (and the rice) a break.

When the rice is creamy and soft but with a little firmness remaining in the centre, the rice is done. When you bite into the rice, your teeth should meet with some resistance.

One of the great things about risotto is how easy it is to customize. Start experimenting with your risotto dishes by adding different ingredients and combining flavors in whatever way suits you: from a simple Parmigiano risotto to an exotic truffle risotto, the possibilities are endless.

White wine. Sometimes I like to add dry white wine to the rice after it has been toasted for 1-2 minutes. All you will need is about 1/2 cup per cup of rice. Allow the rice the absorb the wine before moving to the next step.

The stock is a personal choice. A vegetable stock is more delicate, a chicken stock adds more flavor to your recipes. Risotto is a dish in which the quality of the stock will make a big difference. A home-style product will give a supreme result when reduced together with the rice.


Classic carnaroli rice with porcini mushrooms and meadow herbs

4 servings:

Cascina Oschiena Classic Carnaroli Rice 1 3/4 cups (300gr)
fresh porcini mushrooms 12oz. (approx. 4 cups)
pecorino cheese 1/2 cup freshly grated
fresh cream 1/2 cup
butter 2 tablespoons
parmigiano reggiano cheese 1/3 cup freshly grated
rosemary 2 sprigs
thyme 1 small bunch
parsley 2oz. finely chopped
catmint 2oz. finely chopped
garlic 3 cloves
tuscan-type bread 5oz.
extra-virgin olive oil to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Preparation of the porcini mushroom cream:

Cut 3/4 of the porcini mushrooms into large cubes. Season with salt, pepper, oil, some of all the herbs except the parsley, and 2 crushed cloves of garlic. Cover everything with tinfoil and cook in the oven (a wood oven is ideal) for around 20 minutes.
Leave to cool inside the tinfoil and then add a little olive oil before blending into a cream.

Preparation of the cheese sauce:

Bring the cream to the boil and add the pecorino cheese. Remove from the heat and allow it to melt, and then blend the mixture into a smooth cream, before adding some freshly ground black pepper. Leave to cool inside a cream piping bag.

Preparation of the aromatic bread:

Cut the bread into small cubes and brown them in plenty of hot oil flavored with garlic. Add salt and pepper. When the bread is nice and brown, add all the herbs except the parsley and put it in the oven to dry.
When the bread is golden and dry, blend it together with the parsley. As soon as it cools down add a little salt and oil and leave it to dry again, close to the oven if possible.

Cooking and serving:

Brown the remaining mushrooms, having cut them into small pieces, add and toast the rice, without oil. Then cook by adding a little boiling water at a time. After about 11 minutes add the cream of mushrooms and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from the flame, add the butter and parmigiano cheese and mix well until you obtain a creamy risotto.
Serve on a warm plate and garnish with drops of cheese sauce and some pieces of aromatic bread

Chef Andrea Campani - Relais & Châteaux Osteria del Borro


Classic arborio rice with garlic, oil, chilli pepper and bottarga

4 servings:

Cascina Oschiena Classic Arborio Rice 1 3/4 cups
Vegetable stock not salted 5-6 cups
Extra-virgin olive oil 6 tablespoons (1/3 cup)
Butter 2 tablespoons
Pecorino cheese 1/3 cup freshly grated
Parsley 1 bunch, finely chopped
Garlic 2 cloves
Chilli pepper to taste
Bottarga to taste
Salt to taste


Finely chop the chilli pepper and add 1½ tablespoons of water.
Gently fry the garlic in extra-virgin olive oil on a low heat, then add the chilli pepper and water and allow the liquid to evaporate.
“Dry” toast the rice without fry or water adding just a little extra virgin olive oil. Add part of the stock, continue to cook the rice by adding a ladle of stock at the time. Add a little salt while the rice cooks. When the rice is “al dente”, switch off the flame and add butter, the oil with with garlic and chilli pepper, parsley and the pecorino cheese. Stir vigorously and leave it covered for 2 minutes.
Serve the risotto and sprinkle generously with the bottarga.

Chef Aurelio Carraffa - MaMà Mediterraneum


Classic carnaroli rice with cuttlefish ink, 'nduja and burrata cheese

4 servings:

Cascina Oschiena Classic Carnaroli Rice 1 2/3 cups
Vegetable stock not salted 5-6 cups
Medium-size cleaned cuttlefish with their ink 1
Medium onion 1
Burrata cheese 10 oz.
'Nduja 1 ½ tablespoons
Dry white wine 2/3 cup
Parsley 1 bunch
Extra-virgin olive oil 7 tablespoons
Salt and pepper to taste


Warm up 4 spoons of extra-vergin olive oil in a cassarole dish, Slice the cuttlefish body into strips and the tentacles into small pieces, fry over a medium heat for a few minutes and blend with half of the white wine. Cut open the ink pouches with a knife and put them into the casserole dish. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper Dry toast the rice in a casserole dish until it is very hot (feel the temperature with your hand, don't let the rice turn brown). Add 3 spoons of extra virgin olive oil. Stir well and simmer with white wine until reduced. Add 2 ladles of boiling broth, keep on cooking while adding more broth one ladle at the time. After 10 minutes add the cuttlefish sauce and continue cooking until the rice is cooked. Turn off the stove add the 'nduja previously mashed with a fork, the chopped parsley and then stir the risotto. Cover and let it rest for 2 minutes. Add a ladle of broth to obtain the “Risotto all'Onda ” result.
Serve on a flat plate and add a spoon of burrata and a serving of 'nduja

Chef Aurelio Carraffa - MaMà Mediterraneum


Classic arborio rice cake

6 servings:

Cascina Oschiena Classic Arborio Rice 1 ½ cup
Whole Milk 3 ½ cups
Sugar 1 cup
Eggs 3
Lemon Zest 1
Cinnamon 2 teaspoons
Icing sugar


Boil Arborio Classic Rice for 15 minutes in 4 cups of water. Drain the rice and put it in a pot with the milk, lemon zest, cinnamon and sugar. Bring it to the boil and cook on a low flame until the milk has been completely absorbed. Afterwards, pour the rice into a bowl and leave to cool. Add the eggs, one at a time, and bake in the oven at 170°C/ for about one hour. Decorate with icing sugar.

Chef Fabio Toso - Professor of Culinary Arts


Venere rice with strawberries and champagne


Cascina Oschiena Venere Rice 1 2/3 cups
Vegetable stock not salted 5-6 cups
Ricotta cheese 8 oz.
Butter 2 tablespoons
Prosecco/Champagne white wine 2/3 cup
Straberries 13 oz.
Salt and pepper to taste


Prepare a vegetable stock using seasonal vegetables and adding some strawberries. Dry toast the rice in a casserole dish until it is hot, add the prosecco or champagne until it evaporates and then the stock one ladle at the time. While the rice is cooking, blend the strawberries. Add the strawberry blend a couple of minutes before the rice is cooked. Turn off the stove, add the ricotta cheese and butter. Stir vigorously and leave it covered for 2 minutes. Before serving garnish with the strawberries thinly sliced in the shape of petals.

Chef Gennaro Marciante - Ristorante Acquapazza


Matriciana apollo rice

4 servings:

Cascina Oschiena Apollo Rice 1 3/4 cups
Smoked bacon 5 oz. (approx. ¾ cup)
Pecorino cheese 1/3 cup freshly grated
Onion 5 oz. (2/3 cup)
Cherry tomatoes ½ cup
Garlic 2 cloves
Extra-virgin olive oil 6 tablespoons (1/3 cup)
Butter 2 tablespoons
Salt and pepper to taste
Nb: this recipe is “Matriciana”, and thus requires bacon, unlike “Amatriciana” that requires “guanciale”


Gently fry the onion and brown the bacon. Separately, simmer the cherry tomatoes in a sauté of garlic and oil, add to the bacon and leave to cool. Boil the rice in plenty of water, drain and add to the Matriciana sauce. Mix together with the butter and pecorino cheese.
Add a little pepper before serving.

Chef Fabio Toso - Professor of Culinary Arts



4 Servings

Carnaroli Classic Rice 1 ¾ cup
Lard ( or bacon ) 1/3 cup
Red wine 2 glasses
“Doja” salami – soft salami, cured meat - ½ cup
Onion 1
Black pepper and parmesan cheese to taste

Ingredients for the Stock

Lard (or bacon) 1/3 cup
Onion 1
Beans 1 cup
Laurel/Bay leaves 3-4 leaves

Starting with the stock

Chop the lard and the onion into small chunks, place in a cold casserole and put it on medium-high heat. Sautè for a couple of minutes, add the beans and stir gently. Pour 15/16 cups of cold water, add the laurel leaves and salt. When the water starts to boil, lower the heat and let it cook for approximately 1 hour. It is important that the stock doesn't boil, it just has to cook slowly at minimum heat, so that the beans don't loose their consistency.

Preparation of the Rice

Sautè at medium heat the lard and the onion finely chopped. As soon as the onion is softened, add the rice and toast it for not more than 1 minute, stirring often. Pour the wine and let it evaporate, then add a ladle of stock with the beans and stir. Cut the salami in chunks and add it (the traditional method is to do it with your hands). Pour the stock with the beans gradually, one ladle at the time, giving rice the time to fully absorb the liquid and flavors. Serve with extra vergin olive oil, add black pepper and parmesan cheese to taste.

Franco Marocchino, Historical memory of Crova

Asparagus Risotto

Risotto has a totally undeserved reputation for being difficult and tiresome to cook--all that standing and stirring over a hot stove. But honestly in my kitchen it’s what we turn to for a quick, delicious meal, especially if unexpected company arrives for supper.

It’s early June as I write this and a splendid time for the last of the season’s asparagus, but this basic recipe could be adapted for all kinds of vegetables--think fresh green peas, or ripe tomatoes and sweet red peppers in August, or maybe butternut squash in the fall.

They all fall into the same pattern, which is:
Sauté very gently in olive oil or unsalted butter some finely chopped aromatics (onions, garlic, parsley) along with the principal flavoring ingredient (in this case, asparagus, the tender stalks only, broken into inch long pieces), then stir in the rice and let it absorb some of the fat. (Italian chefs call this la tostatura.)

Add a little white wine and as soon as it is absorbed, start adding stock (chicken, beef, vegetable) which you will have on the side, just barely simmering. Add it in increments of ¼ to ½ cup, and stir it in. As soon as the stock is absorbed, add more, stirring the while, until the rice is done--cooked through but still with a little bite in the center.

This should take just 20 to 30 minutes and in the end the rice should be what Venetians call all’onda, meaning thick with liquid but not the least bit soupy. This is why we insist on arborio or carnaroli rice. With their starchy veneer, these varieties of short-grain rice will develop just the right almost velvety coating. When done, add more butter and grated cheese if you wish, cover the pan and let it rest for 10 to 20 minutes before serving.

To make 6 to 8 servings:

6 cups stock (chicken, beef, vegetable)
1 ½ to 2 pounds fresh asparagus
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil (or use part oil and part butter if you prefer)
1 medium yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
Sea salt to taste
1 garlic clove, chopped
About ¼ cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 cups Oschiena carnaroli or arborio rice
½ cup dry white wine
½ to ¾ cup freshly grated parmigiano reggiano or grana padano cheese
1 or 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Freshly ground black pepper


Bring the stock to a simmer and continue to simmer it very gently while you prepare the risotto. Prepare the asparagus, discarding the tough ends and breaking the stalks into inch long pieces. Break off the flowering heads of the asparagus and set aside to be added later as a contrast.

Add the oil to a heavy kettle or saucepan large enough to hold all the rice when cooked. Set it over medium low heat and stir in the onion and salt. Turn to coat well with fat and as the onion starts to sizzle, add the garlic and parsley. Once the onion slices begin to soften, add the asparagus stalk pieces. Cook gently until the onion is soft and melting but not brown and the asparagus has started to go limp.

Add the rice to the vegetables and stir to mix well. Cook for several minutes or until the rice starts to change color, becoming chalky white, and to sizzle in the fat. Add the wine, raise the heat slightly, and cook, stirring, until the wine has been absorbed.

Now start adding simmering stock, a half-cup at a time, stirring after each addition. As soon as the rice has absorbed the liquid, add more, continuing, ladle by ladle. There should always be liquid visible in the pan--i.e., the rice should never be let to dry out.

But don’t add all the liquid at once--this will result in boiled rice rather than velvety-textured risotto.

After 15 minutes, when the rice is almost done, stir in the reserved asparagus heads.

You may not need to use all the stock but if it happens that you use it up, simply add boiling water instead.

The important thing is to keep adding liquid until the rice is done--al dente, with a bit of a bite in the center, each grain well coated with the sauce which will be dense and almost syrupy. The pieces of asparagus stalk will be very soft while the heads will retain some pleasant texture.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in about ¼ cup of the cheese, the butter if you wish, and the pepper. Immediately cover the pan and set it aside for 10 to 15 minutes before serving, with the remaining cheese passed at the table.

Nancy Harmon Jenkins - The Four Seasons of Pasta. www.nancyharmonjenkins.com

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