Giuseppe Verdi loved to cook. He was highly demanding when it came to chefs.

To find one who could fulfill his expectations was a real deal for him.

It seems that he would test them as he would do with singers. “I’m asking for a chef who knows how to cook and not for someone who burns pots!”, he wrote to the publisher Giulio Ricordi in 1875.

In spite of an entire group in the villa of Sant’Agata designed to do so, Verdi was used to cook his own risotto.

His favourite was the saffron and truffle risotto, whose recipe was transcribed down his dictation by his wife Giuseppina in a letter of 1869 addressed to his friend Camille Du Locle, director of the Opéra Comique in Paris.

As a matter of fact, though, Verdi’s types of risotto are two.

Verdi himself, indeed, came up with another type of risotto, one based on zucchini, asparagous tips and mushrooms.

What is central in both the recipes is the osso buco for the soup and the marrow, that, together with butter and onion, contributes to season the rice. Not to forget, in conclusion, is an abundant sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

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