Rose's Shop Watch: Acquerello rice
Marks & Spencer, Kings Fine Food (online)
The best rice for risotto
Acquerello is a Carnaroli rice which comes from Piedmont. If you look on the website (acquerello.it) they describe the unique method of production which involves ageing, refining and enriching – all sounding very complicated. However the end result is the best risotto rice I have come across, and I understand that many famous chefs swear by it. It comes in a very attractive silver vacuum-sealed tin, which preserves its quality and is to be found in the excellent world food section of Marks & Spencer.
Making a risotto isn’t difficult as long as you follow the rules. For me, there are three things, which are important. The first is the slow addition of hot homemade stock during the cooking. Secondly, at the end of the cooking there is a stage, which the Italians call “mantecare”: as the risotto becomes “al dente”, you add a large knob of butter and some Parmesan, turn off the heat, cover it and leave it to rest for 2-3 minutes. Then you give it a final vigorous stir, releasing any remaining starch and leaving it really creamy. Finally the consistency of the risotto should be fairly liquid at the end – the Italians call this “all onda” or on the wave. Think of a puddle of risotto in a bowl and less of a dollop on a plate.
You might find Delia's Cookery School video helpful: Medium and Short-grain Rice.
Become a risotto aficionado.
Acquerello Rice 250g
Marks and Spencer (world food section): £2
Kings Fine Food £3.38 (they also sell larger tins.)
Marks and Spencer
Tel: 0333 014 8555
Kings Fine Food
Tel: 020 8894 1111
Check stock is available before visiting your local store, to avoid a wasted journey.