Sunday, June 3, 2018

Tutto Bene Risotto Masterclass by Rockstar

I jumped at the opportunity to attend Tutto Bene’s risotto masterclass for a few reasons: I remember going to Tutto Bene not long after it opened;  I have had a number of delicious risottos there; and I was very curious about the secrets that would be revealed about how to create the best risotto at home (keep reading for Tutto Bene's recipe to try at home!). 

Tutto Bene, Risotto Masterclass, risi e bisi risotto
Risi e Bisi risotto (photo supplied)

Head chef Nathan Scarfo was engaging and incredibly likeable and knowledgeable. The opportunity to not only see him cooking but to hear his top tips, and see them applied, was definitely worth it. 

Tutto Bene, Risotto Masterclass, risotto rice
Three types of rice

I've always used arborio rice in my risottos but after hearing the reasons why Nathan uses Vialone Nano rice and seeing it demonstrated I’ll be following suit!

Tutto Bene, Risotto Masterclass, Parmesan risotto
Parmesan risotto made with arborio rice (foreground) and Vialone Nano rice (background). Look at the different textures!

The Vialone Nano, like Carnaroli rice, has a much higher starch content than arborio rice - resulting in the creamiest end product with the same ingredients. It was fascinating to feel the rices and note the smoothness of the arborio and the toughness of the other two. We were given two Parmesan risottos to try - one made with arborio and one with Vialone Nano rice. They were made exactly the same, except for the rice. The richness, creaminess and depth of flavour achieved purely by the use of Vialone Nano rice over the arborio is truly amazing. It was a true celebration of the amazing 48-month aged Parmigiano-Reggiano they use at Tutto Bene. As an aside, they go through over 40 kilograms of the stuff each week!

Tutto Bene, Risotto Masterclass, Head Chef Nathan Scarfo
Head Chef Nathan Scarfo and that Parmigiano-Reggiano

Nathan’s first tip was to make sure you cook out your onions properly, giving them the time the release their sweetness. I don’t want to give away all his tips, but one I believe strongly in with all cooking - fat for flavour! If you’re going to have risotto, there will be butter with your carbs! Nathan emphasised the use of hot stock, really hot stock, to maximise the creaminess. He added it all in one go which maintained the amazing taste but minimised cooking time. It really was a thing of beauty when the finished Risi e Bisi risotto (rice and peas) was plated and you could see the all’onda texture... the wave of the risotto on the plate demonstrating the perfect texture.

Tutto Bene, Risotto Masterclass, carrot puree and arancini
Carrot purée and arancini

Nathan talked about some of the options for leftover risotto (when it tastes this beautiful I don’t think there would be any) including arancini and using the risotto to stuff calamari! The arancini on carrot purée was warming and tasty and the prettiest arancini ever!

Tutto Bene, Risotto Masterclass, risi e bisi risotto
The Risi e Bisi with pancetta was delightful - a reminder of how perfect risotto can be and how often what we are served as risotto isn’t.

Tutto Bene, Risotto Masterclass, risi e bisi risotto
Quality ingredients for a quality risotto

Coming home with a goody bag with the recipe, some olive oil and a packet of Vialone Nano means I will be definitely be following the rest of Nathan’s tips when I attempt to make my Risi e Bisi risotto very soon. I don’t think there will be any risotto leftover! I highly recommend heading to the public risotto masterclasses. Details are as follows:

  • Tutto Bene risotto masterclasses on 13 June, 11 July and 8 August 2018 at 6.30pm. Tickets are $85 per person, which includes a risotto masterclass, two-course dinner, a glass of wine and goody bag. To book call 03 9696 3334 or visit Tutto Bene's website.

Tutto Bene has generously shared with us their recipe for Risi e Bisi risotto for you to try at home.

Tutto Bene's risi e bisi (rice and pea risotto), s​erves 4


500g Ferron Via Annone risotto
2 brown onions
2 bay leaves
1.8L of vegetable stock
400g pancetta
2 cloves garlic (good quality locally produced is recommended)
6 banana shallots
100ml good quality extra virgin olive oil
20g dried fennel seeds
400g green peas blanched and refreshed in ice water
¼ bunch thyme
200g unsalted butter
200g grated Parmesan (good quality is recommended, ​try Parmigiano-Reggiano aged for 48 months)


Pea puree
  • Bring medium size pot half filled with water and a pinch of salt to the boil.
  • Thinly slice the garlic, two shallots and finally chop the thyme. Sautée in a pan with extra virgin olive oil till golden and tender (20 minutes on medium heat). Don't burn the onions!
  • Blanch 200g of the peas in the boiling water till they go vibrant and green, quickly strain and add to blender with sautéed onions (keeping in mind everything needs to be hot). Blend for four minutes or until smooth and shiny. Adjust seasoning. Set aside and if not using straight away an ice bath is recommended to keep the pea puree nice and green.
Pancetta mix 
  • Thinly slice pancetta and cut into 1cm squares and add to a pan once cut. Cook until crispy and the fat has leaked into the pan.
  • Drain into a fine sieve keeping all the oil. This is very important!
  • Peel the shallots and julienne (thinly sliced).
  • Add the shallots into the same pan you cooked the pancetta in and add the strained fat and fennel seeds and pinch of salt and cook till golden and tender. Then add to the fine sieve with pancetta. Set aside.
  • Finely dice onion and cook with bay leaf in olive oil in medium size pot.
  • Bring vegetable stock to the boil once onions have turned translucent and are smelling fragrant and sweet.
  • Add the risotto, turn the heat up, and stir until the rice is hot but don't burn the sides.
  • The rice will make a cracking sound when ready and you won't be able to touch the risotto with the back of your hand.
  • Using one ladle at a time, slowly add the boiling stock until all added.
  • Stir every 30 seconds to one minute to avoid it sticking.
  • Once the risotto has absorbed all the liquid, it should be creamy and almost dry.
  • Add the butter, Parmesan and 200g of freshly blanched green peas.
  • Finally add 1½ tablespoons of pea puree per person.
  • Now you need to work it! Stir, stir and stir some more. If your arms are not sore after making risotto you haven't made it right. It should be luscious and creamy.
  • Finally add seasoning. Risi e Bisi loves lots of freshly cracked black pepper.

Tutto Bene, Risotto Masterclass, Nathan Scarfo
Head Chef Nathan Scarfo

Tutto Bene, Risotto Masterclass, Southgate


A fun informative night learning how to make a delicious risotto while being fed a creamy, smooth risotto and arancini, with a goody bag to be able to recreate it at home!

The Eat and Be Merry Crew were guests of Tutto Bene.

Find it at

Tutto Bene
Southgate Melbourne
M28/3 Southgate Avenue
Southbank VIC 3006
Phone: (03) 9696 3334

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...