Food Special: Chef Valter Belli reveals the recipe for the most authentic risotto

Expat chef Valter Belli tells us how to make a plate of indulgent and authentic risotto

author_img Ujjainee Roy Published :  23rd August 2019 05:42 PM   |   Published :   |  23rd August 2019 05:42 PM

Chef Valter Belli at JW Marriott Kolkata

Born in the northern Italian province of Reggio Emilia, which is often considered the gastronomical epicentre of Italian cuisine (owing to its Apennine bounties and farm-focused palates), chef Valter Belli has mastered the traditional Italian fare over the course of the last 30 years. We caught up with the chef while he was in town, curating the Italian Food Festival at JW Marriott last month, and asked him about how to make an authentic plate of Italian risotto.

A plate of risotto at JW Marriott Kolkata 

Originally known as a Northern Italian staple, the risotto is a creamy and wholesome rice dish which is often cooked with broth until it reaches a thick and even consistency. It is usually presented as a pre-entree dish, and risotto is one of the most common ways of preparing rice in Italy. “The perfect risotto takes 80 minutes to cook! And you must use Arborio rice, which is Italian short-grain rice, and no other kind of rice and you also must keep the risotto stirring and you can’t just let it sit and boil,” the chef reveals. 



1 tablespoon butter

1 cup cream

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 cup beetroot puree

1 cup pesto sauce ( made with basil, garlic, peanut, parmesan cheese)

1 cup uncooked Arborio rice

Broccoli, carrots, cauliflower cut to size

1/4 cup blue cheese

1/4  tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 cup white wine


  • Heat butter and oil over medium-high heat. As the butter melts, add chopped onion and garlic


  • Put in the arborio rice in the oil and after a couple of minutes add white wine. Then add the other vegetables


  • Add the vegetable broth and keep cooking for 8-10 minutes. Keep stirring it the whole time and do not let it sit


  • Add in the beetroot puree 


  • Melt cream and Gorgonzola (a kind of blue cheese) together in a separate bowl


  • Add in the cream cheese and the pesto to the risotto