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Cooking With Clay No. 12: Italian Risotto Pot


Years ago I bought this pot and was erroneously told it was a bean pot from France. It turns out it's a risotto pot from Italy. It's also used for beans but clearly it's a great vehicle for risotto. The design in very clever. There's a huge opening on the top to encourage evaporation and there are rounded sides to help your wooden spoon continually bath the rice in caldo.


Shrimp were on sale at our local Whole Foods. It says they were farmed and I've heard it's pretty rough on the environment but I meekly assumed that Whole Foods would make sure it was a sustainable operation. Was I foolish? I really love my shrimp and want desperately to believe there's a green way for me to get my fill.


I peeled raw shrimp and made a stock out of the shells and tails with celery and onion. I sauteed the raw shrimp with butter, Olive oil and garlic.


I followed Marcella Hazan's basic risotto recipe and made good use of my slave labor, who stirred and fussed for the 25 minutes it took to make the delicious grain.


Once the risotto was cooked, we added more butter and grated parma cheese.


We took Marcella's advice (always a wise thing to do) and spread the risotto over the plate to allow it to cool a wee but and then scooped the shrimp on top. It smelled grand but looked a little anemic so we added a touch of thyme. I would have used parsley if we'd had it but this was actually perfect.


I was nuts for it. And I think I'll incorporate more risotto into my life. It wasn't as hard as I'd thought and it turns out I have the perfect clay pot for it. And I'm thinking it might be fun to team up risotto with some more Mexican or indigenous ingredients.

You can get a pot like this, or one very similar, at BRAM cookware.

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