White risotto with coffee powder and Pantelleria capers

Risotto Blanco con Polvo de Café y Alcaparras de Pantelleria
Le Calandre
Chef: Massimiliano Alajmo
Country: Italia
City: 35030 Sarmeola di Rubano (Pádua)
Address: Via Liguria, 1
(+39) 049630303

Just as we can assert that Massimiliano Alajmo is the primus inter pares of pasta chefs without any risk of being wrong, he is also among the world’s elite in risottos. Despite his youth, he created his two magnum opuses a few years ago and has not been able to outdo them, even though he finds himself in a permanent state of grace. The reason: it is a virtually impossible feat, given the eminence of the antecedents. Equally great, and greatly equal are the saffron risotto with licorice powder and the white risotto with coffee powder and capers; to such an extreme that a day could come in which the kitchen and the diner would have to be the thing to mark the difference.

Both are rooted in a minimalist style. Both offer radical flavor counterpoints in incredible harmony. Flavors of licorice powder—sprinkled onto the plate—and capers—finely chopped and spread out over the grain—despite their potency, they end up balanced and always secondary to the rice, which fully retains its sapid identity. Thus, we have here a rice dish with subtle and balanced originality. The intrinsic quality of the main ingredient, the uniform cooking evident in the grain and the evenness of the sauce contribute to the perfection of this imaginative risotto.

The Recipe


  • 320g Tenuta Castello Vialone Nano rice
  • 15g onion, finely chopped
  • 12g extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 coffee grains
  • 70g dry white wine
  • chicken stock
  • 60-70g butter
  • 100-120g Parmesan
  • salt and sugar
  • powdered coffee
  • Pantelleria capers, desalted and finely chopped


Brown the rice in a saucepan with oil and onion and stir in the white wine; add the coffee grains and gradually mix in the chicken stock. Allow to cook and salt to taste. Once the coffee grains have been removed, blend in the butter and Parmesan to give the rice a creamy consistency. Emulsify with a drop of boiling stock and serve in a dish dusted with powdered coffee. Spoon the rice out evenly and distribute the chopped capers over top.
Outline the edge of the plate with a ribbon of powdered coffee diluted in boiling stock.