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When’s risotto not just risotto? When you’re in Valentina’s class!

Updated: Sep 6, 2021

Coming up in August we have a fantastic class with 40+ published author and tv chef, Valentina Harris. Valentina’s “Not Just Risotto” full day course on 13th August covers the intricate technique for the class Italian Risotto, but also other Italian rice-based sweet and savoury dishes, including supplì, arancini, soup and a delicious sweet risotto CAKE.

With a best selling cookery book, Risotto! Risotto! Valentina is renowned for her master of this classic Italian rice dish.

“They call me the Risotto Queen and Risotto is the first thing I ever learned to cook properly from start to finish”, says Valentina. “I was taught by a great master, who used to be the Risotto Chef at the great Savini restaurant in the Galleria in Milan.”

It is an easy dish to master? Well yes and no! “Risotto does require commitment for the best results and it isn’t nearly as easy to get it right as people seem to think”, says Valentina.

Plenty of non-Italians get it wrong to begin with. For a number of reasons but one is the stock – “the quality of the stock is very important“, says Valentina.

And if you’ve ever added cream to risotto, this is a definite no-no! Many people think the creaminess comes from adding actual cream, but Valentina is very quick to put us straight.

Cream has absolutely no place in risotto making at all – unless specified in the recipe for some particular reason. The creaminess in risotto (called Il Velluto – the Velvet – in Italian) is created from the starch falling away from the exterior shell of the rice grains and mixing with the stock and other flavours as the rice cooks. Hence the need to keep stirring!”

Risotto is a great way to wind down after a long day at work or rushing around doing chores.

Making Risotto is a great way to beat stress“, she says. “You can’t do anything else while you’re making it except relax and concentrate on what is going on in the pan!”

Valentina’s Not Just Risotto class runs from 10-4pm on August 13th. £160pp. Lunch with wine is included, as well as all ingredients and you’ll take home your creations at the end fo the day.

Dishes you’ll learn on the day may include:

  • RISOTTO ALLA PARMIGIANA -Cheese and Butter Risotto

  • RISOTTO ALLA MILANESE – Classic Milanese Risotto (pictured)

  • TIMBALLO DI RISO ALLA PALERMITANA – Rice and Aubergine Timbale in the Palermo Style

  • SUPPLI AL TELEFONO – Supplì with a Melted Mozzarella Heart (pictured)

  • ARANCINI ALLA CAPRESE – Arancini with Tomato and Mozzarella (pictured)

  • MINESTRA DI RISO e FAVE – Rice and Broad Bean Soup

  • TORTA DI RISO DOLCE – Sweet Risotto Cake (pictured)


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