In a nutshell: This ancient variety of 'carnaroli' rice has been semi-husked and is perfect for stuffing Mediterranean-style vegetables and rice puddings.
Rosa Marchetti is an ancient variety of rice rescued from extinction by the Riserva San Massimo team who now cultivate it in their rice paddies. Semi-husked, its got some amazing flavour and is perfect for stuffing vegetables and for rice puddings.
It’s grown in Lombardy's San Massimo nature reserve, whose fertile soils are fed by the mineral-rich waters of the river Ticino and by 44 naturally occurring karst springs. After harvest, the rice is processed using time-honoured methods.
For instance, husking is done is small batches using conical stones, a slow process but one that guarantees quality because the rice isn’t subjected to high temperatures.
This careful treatment has a direct effect on the rice’s cooking and eating quality. The risotto it delivers is creamy, because of the rice’s high starch content, without being mushy, because the compact and homogenous grains hold their shape during cooking.
Details: 1kg bag.
How to use it:
About Riserva San Massimo:
Over the course of centuries, the Ticino river, which tumbles down from the Swiss Alps, changed its original course through the broad plains of northern Italy. It left behind a fertile swathe of land, whose peaty soils, rich in micronutrients, proved to be the ideal medium for growing rice.
It is here, in the heart of a protected natural reserve, that Guido Antonello and his team, led by estate manager Dino Massignani, since 2005, harness the pure, mineral-laden waters of the reserve’s 44 natural karst springs to cultivate their superior-quality carnaroli. The Antonello family have dedicated their lives to protecting the biodiversity and beauty of this eco reserve teeming with wildlife.
Attention to detail and adherence to tradition are key. Only organic, natural fertilisers are used – and even then, only lightly. The harvested rice is dried at low temperatures, then rested in airy silos, the way risotto rice has been prepared for centuries.
At each stage of production, the choices Dino makes aren’t the easy, time-saving, penny-pinching ones – instead, he’s guided by his desire to produce the best risotto rice he can. This way, the rice keeps all the flavour and fragrance it gained during its ripening in this completely natural habitat.
"My mother was a mondina (one of the women known as 'mondine' who weeded the paddies in Italy's rice belt in the 1940's) and my family has always been linked to the world of rice" Dino says "Life as a mondina was gruelling and rice was torn by hand. Since I was a child I've felt a love for the fields, nature and animals and this led me to my passion for preserving true carnaroli rice. In the 1980's carnaroli was disappearing but now people are rediscovering this authentic rice."
It’s why Riserva San Massimo's carnaroli rice is now used in Italy’s finest restaurants.
Don't forget to check out the other San Massimo rice on the website, Carnaroli Superfino Bianco Rice (White) and Integrale (Wholegrain).
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