Book cover for RISOTTO AND BEYOND: 100 Authentic Italian Rice Recipes for Antipasti, Soups, Salads, Risotti, One-Dish Meals, and Desserts

RISOTTO AND BEYOND: 100 Authentic Italian Rice Recipes for Antipasti, Soups, Salads, Risotti, One-Dish Meals, and Desserts

John Coletta,‎ Nancy Ross Ryan,‎ Monica Kass Rogers

March 13, 2018
ISBN-13: 978-0847862368

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John Coletta is the founding chef and partner of Chicago’s Quartino Ristorante & Wine Bar.  It has received three stars from the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times, and won the American Culinary Federation’s 2014 Award of Culinary Excellence.  Under Coletta’s leadership, Quartino also earned the Ospitalità Italiana seal, which recognizes restaurants abroad that promote the traditions of Italian food culture.

Monica Kass Rogers is a writer, recipe developer, prop and food stylist, photographer, and letterpress printer from Evanston, IL. Her work has been featured in Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, Chicago Tribune, Edible Chicago, and many more. She studied book arts, literature, photography and journalism in college, and apprenticed to a printer in Evanston where she recently established her Little Blue Press. Today Monica divides her energies between writing internationally for Communication Arts and other publications, photographing for a wide array of clients, and letterpress printing.

Rice is a staple of northern Italy and, because of this, a rich and varied rice-based cookery has developed in this region. From acclaimed Chicago chef John Coletta of Quartino Ristorante comes a recipe collection focusing on a relatively unexplored area of Italian cuisine—rice cookery.  In RISOTTO & BEYOND: 100 Authentic Italian Rice Recipes for Antipasti, Soups, Salads, Risotti, One-Dish Meals, and Desserts, Coletta offers a delectable range of Italian rice cooking into the home kitchen, from familiar dishes—arancini, crochettes, risotti, and rice puddings—to more unusual offerings such as rice salads, soups, fritters, bracioli, and gelatos.

Coletta shares his expertise about Italian rice types—Comune (used for everyday cooking); Semifino (used for soups, croquettes and rice cakes); Fino (used for timbales, rice balls, rice-cake appetizers, and molded rice salads); and Superfino (used for rice salads and risottos)—and their cooking methods ensuring foolproof instructions for making perfect rice every time.  Among the recipes are Rice Crostini with Ricotta and Oregano; Rice Soup with Shrimp and Leeks; Rice Salad with Bresaola and Parmigiano Reggiano; Risotta alla Carbonara; Zucchini Blossoms Filled with Radicchio and Gorgonzola Rice; Artichokes Stuffed with Lemon and Thyme Risotto; Risotto with Gorgonzola, Apples, and Walnuts; Baked Gratin of Rice with Four Cheeses; Braised Turkey Rolls with Chestnut Risotto, Pancetta, and Sage; Rice Tart with Rum-Rosemary Apricots; plus many more delicious dishes!

A definitive guide to the Italian rice-cookery repertoire, RISOTTO & BEYOND will appeal to lovers of Italian food who are looking for a cookbook that includes many of their favorite Italian ingredients all with rice as the new star!


Arancini with Fresh Mozzarella and Italian Parsley


Ever since the invading Arabs brought rice to Sicily, the region has been known for arancini, or “little oranges.” Named for the shape and color these diminutive rice balls take on when deepfried, arancini can be filled with meat sauce, cheese, mushrooms—even pistachios or roasted eggplant. The choice of which Italian rice to use is up to you: Arancini made with Arborio rice have a stickier texture while Carnaroli rice preserves the texture of the separate rice grains. I like to serve these with a spicy arrabbiata sugo dipping sauce. 

WINE PAIRING: When the deep fryer comes out, it’s time to reach for something sparkling. Add to that the milksweet, creamy cheese and fiery dipping sauce used here and your best bet will be “dry” or “extra dry” Prosecco

  • 3 cups Arborio or Carnaroli superfino rice
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2 teaspoons finely ground sea salt
  • 3 large eggs, well beaten
  • ¼ cup sweet white rice flour
  • 1 small bunch Italian flat-leaf parsley, leaves only, coarsely chopped and lightly packed to
    make ½ cup
  • 2½ ounces Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano, finely grated to make 1 cup
  • 1 pound fior di latte (fresh cow’s milk mozzarella in liquid) drained and cut into ¼-inch cubes


  • 3 large eggs, well beaten
  • 2 cups fine dry Italian, panko, or gluten-free breadcrumbs
  • 4 to 5 cups high-smokepoint oil (safflower, rice bran, soybean, or canola)
  • Salsa All’Arrabbiata, for serving

Pour 5½ cups water into a medium heavy-gauge saucepan or pot and stir in the rice, butter, and salt. Heat to boiling over medium heat; reduce the heat to low. Simmer briskly, uncovered and without stirring, until the rice has absorbed the water, about 30 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat. Stir in the eggs, rice flour, parsley, and Parmigiano.

Line a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with parchment paper. Transfer the cooked rice to the parchment-lined dish, smoothing to make level. Bring the rice to room temperature.

** To finish the recipe the next day, cover the rice with parchment paper and the baking dish with plastic wrap; refrigerate. Bring the rice to room temperature before continuing with the recipe.

Assemble and fry the arancini: Using a sharp knife dipped in cold water, score and cut the rice cake into 16 equal pieces. Place one portion of rice in your hand and shape it into a cone; fill with 3 cubes of mozzarella. Close the rice over the cheese and squeeze to shape it into a ball. Place on parchment paper. Repeat until all the arancini are formed.

Place two large bowls on a work surface. Place the eggs in one and the breadcrumbs in the other. Immerse a rice ball in the egg; move it to the bowl of breadcrumbs and dredge until well coated. Place the breaded ball on the parchment paper. Repeat until all the rice balls are breaded.

Pour the oil into a small electric fryer (amount specified by fryer model) or a heavy-gauge pot, ensuring that the oil reaches no higher than 3 inches from the top of the pot. Preheat the oil to 350°F. Carefully transfer 3 or 4 of the balls into the hot oil, being careful not to crowd them. Fry until golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Test one to ensure doneness, adjusting frying time as needed. Proceed with the remainder.

Blot the fried arancini on paper toweling. Place on a platter and serve with spicy salsa all’ arrabbiata sauce.

Variation: To make traditional Sicilian arancini, use the recipe above, but add 1 teaspoon saffron threads to the rice mixture. Fold in the eggs and rice flour, but omit the parsley and Parmigiano Reggiano. Cook, cool, and cut the rice cake as directed. When ready to shape into balls, fill each with about 1 tablespoon of ragu and two small cubes of provolone or buffalo mozzarella. Bread and fry according to the recipe directions.

© Risotto and Beyond: 100 Authentic Italian Rice Recipes for Antipasti, Soups, Salads, Risotti, One-Dish Meals, and Desserts by John Coletta, Rizzoli New York, 2018. Images © Stephen DeVries and may not be reproduced in any way without written permission from the publisher, are available to accompany your coverage.

Contact:  Nicki Clendening