Panissa alla Vercellese

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This panissa recipe offers a true taste of Piedmont – a northern Italian region at the foot of the Alps famous for its rich, hearty cuisine. The risotto rice and beans are cooked in a red wine sauce enriched with pork fat and salami for a decadent, satisfying finish.

First published in 2018
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  • 400g of carnaroli risotto rice, or baldo rice
  • 1/2 onion, finely diced
  • 1 Della Duia salami
  • 2 tbsp of tomato paste
  • 175ml of red wine, preferably Barbera
  • 80g of pork fat
  • 1 dash of olive oil
  • 1 knob of butter, refrigerated
  • 2 tbsp of Grana Padano, grated
  • salt
  • pepper

To cook the beans

  • 300g of borlotti beans, dried
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 150g of pork rind


  • Food processor


If you are using dried beans, leave them to soak in cold water overnight
  • 300g of borlotti beans, dried
To cook the beans, fill a large saucepan with water, add the carrot, celery, onion and pork rind and bring to the boil. Do not salt the broth as this will affect the texture of the beans and the flavour of the dish later on
Add the beans and reduce the heat. Simmer for 1–1½ hours until al dente – they will be cooked more in the rice later so don’t overcook them at this stage or they will turn to mush when added. Strain the beans and set aside, reserve the cooking broth in a pan set over a very low heat
Heat a small amount of oil in a pan. Add the chopped onion and cook gently until soft and translucent, you want to avoid letting the onion colour. Add the pork fat and allow it to melt into the onion
  • 1 dash of olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, finely diced
  • 80g of pork fat
Remove the salami from its casing, add to a food processor and blend until finely chopped
  • 1 Della Duia salami
Add the chopped salami to the pan and cook everything together gently for a few minutes
Add the rice and a pinch of pepper. Toast the rice over a medium heat for 2–3 minutes, making sure to stir constantly to prevent the rice from burning. At this stage, season with a small amount of salt, but bear in mind the salami and pork fat are already quite salty
  • 400g of carnaroli risotto rice, or baldo rice
  • pepper
  • salt
Add the tomato paste, stirring so that it coats the rice and caramelises. Cook for 2–3 minutes to cook out the acidity
Add the wine, stirring continuously and allowing the alcohol to evaporate
  • 175ml of red wine, preferably Barbera
Start adding splashes of the reserved hot bean broth. Add just enough to cover the rice in the pan, stirring continuously in a figure of eight shape to prevent sticking and to build up the starch in the dish
As soon as the rice begins to dry out, add more of the bean broth, stirring constantly
After about 10 minutes, heat up the reserved beans. Remove a ladle of the beans from the pan and blitz to a smooth cream. Add the creamed beans and the whole beans into the rice
Repeat the process of adding in the stock for 15–18 minutes until the risotto is creamy and the rice is al dente. Remember not to salt the risotto until the end of the cooking as is easy to over-salt the dish
Remove the pan from the heat, making sure there’s a fairly even ratio of solids and liquids, if needed add a little more stock. Cover the pan with a tea towel and leave to rest for a few minutes
Add in the chilled butter, stirring together well, and shaking the pan to create a wave shape in the risotto, so the butter emulsifies into the risotto. Add the cheese and mix well. Serve in warmed bowls
  • 1 knob of butter, refrigerated
  • 2 tbsp of Grana Padano, grated

Discover more about this region's cuisine:

Christian and Manuel Costardi take Piedmont’s most famous crop – rice – and turn it into over twenty varieties of Michelin-starred risotto.

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