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Cascina Oschiena Classic Carnaroli Rice $19.95

We tried three different brands of carnaroli rice, and Cascina Oschiena was the clear winner—with a fluffy, creaminess to their grains without the gumminess that often plagues similar rices. And it’s integral to a proper Italian risotto.

When risotto is made well, it is called “all’ondo,” which means “like a wave.” It should be creamy and thick yet loose, with enough creamy density to create waves when stirred rapidly. Arborio is much more fussy and can grow mushy and loose its “wave” due to the smaller grains, while carnaroli has a superior toothsome texture that’s much more forgiving for the home cook. Plus, the company cultivates their grains in a biodiversity protected area, planting over 5,000 trees and bushes, restoring natural springs and protecting area wildlife.

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This rice is perfect for a creamy risotto, like our Saffron Risotto and Risotto with Sausage and Arugula. Its chubby texture also works well in soups and grain salads. The rice absorbs flavors well, too, so in soups it will take on some of the broth’s flavors, and in a salad it will readily absorb the dressing. Try it in our Vietnamese Rice Soup with Chicken (Chao Ga) or our Soupy Rice with Chicken, Bok Choy and Mushrooms (Pao Fan).

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