The history of risotto

There are few dishes as popular or as versatile as risotto.

At its simplest, risotto is a hearty, warming rice dish, rich with the flavours of the stock used in its making, as well as saffron, parmesan, butter and any of the hundreds of ingredients that match so perfectly with it.

Risotto is not only versatile, but easy to make, and as …

Making the most of winter

At The Essential Ingredient, we believe winter is a food-lover’s dream. Sure, it’s colder, darker and often much harder to get out of bed, but winter is also a wonderful opportunity to embrace some warming, comforting seasonal cooking.

Winter is the perfect time for hearty soups, steaming bowls of risotto, rich pasta sauces and all manner of slow-cooked masterpieces, and with the high-quality seasonal ingredients available in Australia, it’s also the …

Recipe: Joseph Vargetto’s Risotto alla Milanese

Risotto is as popular a restaurant dish as it is a home-cooking staple. This exciting recipe, given to us by Melbourne cooking icon and multiple award winner Joe Vargetto, will ensure your next risotto is remembered long after the gold leaf has disappeared.


320g Carnaroli risotto rice
60g butter
2 pieces bone marrow
40g grated parmesan
1tsp saffron threads
1tbl onion, very finely chopped
1 …

Porcini powder: your secret ingredient

The Essential Ingredient’s Porcini Powder, made from the highest quality dried porcini mushrooms imported from France, is the key to adding a sophisticated flavour and richness to many dishes.

Dried mushroom powder is a secret weapon in your spice arsenal. Add it anywhere you add spices or dried herbs; stews, marinades, sauces, soups, dressings and more.

Bring out the flavour of your …

Recipe: Risotto Nero

A great dish to serve with seafood, and perfect for the chill currently setting in to our Autumn nights, risotto nero gets its name from the black color the rice acquires when cooked with its signature ingredient, squid ink.

Risotto Nero

Serves 4

250g Good quality Italian risotto rice
2 sachets squid ink (approx. 8g total)
1 small onion, finely …