Risotto for Beginners

Shelf-stable risotto kits, some even dressed with a whiff of truffle, are fairly common. A new one from Tasty Ribbon is designed for a rank beginner to master. Created by Fratelli Desideri with Andrea Larossa, a chef at the Michelin-starred Larossa in Alba, Italy, the kit incorporates some high-end flourishes like Carnaroli rice, a connoisseur’s choice; freeze-dried mountain cheese; a generous helping of clarified butter for a voluptuous finish; and licorice powder, an uncommon garnish, to add a hint of musky sweetness. The technique is bare bones, leaving no option for adjusting the texture to taste: lightly sauté the rice in extra-virgin olive oil (included), then add a measured amount of boiling salted water all at once and cook, stirring. The cheese and butter go in at the end, and the licorice gets dusted on just before serving. The kit is designed to serve three, but can accommodate four. They do not mention it, but using your choice of stock in place of water is a worthwhile option.

Fratelli Desideri Risotto Kit, $58 plus shipping,

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