I decided to spoil Adam and me today.

I had it stuck in my head most of the day that I was going to be using something from a far away land to make dinner.


Any ideas as to what that is? No? I didn't either. My sister brought me this airtight package of rice from her trip to Torino, Italy a few months back, and it's just been sitting there. She explained that it was like arborio rice (the stuff used to make risotto) but better. And it was direct from Italy, so it HAD to be better.

Upon doing a little research, I found that carnaroli rice is a higher-starch rice than arborio, yielding a super-creamy yet sturdy risotto dish. It's a slightly smaller grain than arborio, but lends itself to risotto dishes just as well.


What could I put with this incredibly well-traveled rice that was worthy of its company? As I said, I spoiled us. I bought things from the grocery store that I ordinarily wouldn't have... but hey, we deserve it!


That would be raw milk parmesan cheese (under the tomatoes), organic cherry tomatoes, organic green peas, fresh shallot, and lump crab meat.

Carnaroli Risotto with Lump Crab, Peas, and "Popped" Tomatoes


  • 1 1/2 c. carnaroli rice (or arborio, but you may need to alter the liquid content)
  • 1 box chicken stock or broth
  • 1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 1 cup peas (either fresh or frozen)
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • lump crab meat
  • 2 Tb. butter
  • 1 Tb. olive oil


Heat the oil and butter together in a sauce pot. When the butter is melted, add the shallot and turn the heat to medium. Cook until the shallot is translucent, then add the raw grains of rice. Stir well, making sure that each rice grain is coated with the butter and oil mixture, and the grains are lightly toasted. Add about 1 cup of chicken stock to the pot.


Stir well, and simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the broth is all absorbed. Continue this process with about a cup or cup-and-a-half of broth at a time until the broth is all absorbed and the rice is creamy. Stir in the parmesan cheese and thawed peas. Cover the pot and turn the heat off.

In a separate pan, heat 1 tsp. olive oil. When the pan is searing hot, add the tomatoes and stir to coat the tomatoes with the oil. Cook over very high heat, shaking the pan constantly, for about 5 minutes. Transfer the tomatoes (carefully!) to a separate dish and allow to rest, at which point, the skins will "pop".

Plate the risotto with a large scoop of crab meat on top, and the tomatoes.


Look at those tomatoes!


Yeah, its kind of awesome.


It's time for some ganache, a spoon, and some wine.



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20 Responses to Spoiled

  1. Amanda says:

    hi! I miss g-chatting with you. Life has been nuts lately. You and Adam totally deserve the spoiling and this looks absolutely fantastic. The tomatoes are gorgeous!
    Amanda´s last blog post ..Saving money

  2. Holly says:

    That looks amazing! I bought some of that rice after seeing an article in Cooking Light last year. Delish. And I want to try your recipe! YUM.

  3. glidingcalm says:


  4. VeggieGirl says:

    Creamy comfort!

    I’m loving your ganache enjoyment.

  5. looks delicious, Mara!
    Kristina @ spabettie´s last blog post ..earthy goodness

  6. i love the tomato circle! makes the dish look SO appetizing!
    Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean´s last blog post ..Good &amp Bad

  7. Victoria says:

    Good for you! I love to splurge on fun groceries, and it definitely makes you feel more spoiled when the dish looks that gorgeous!
    Victoria´s last blog post ..A Taste of Home

  8. yWowwwwy zowy that sounds delish! Crab meat makes me smile! 🙂
    Christin@purplebirdblog´s last blog post ..Red Beans &amp Rice and Energy Balls

  9. annie says:

    you totally deserve to spoil yourselves!

    im definitely making this!!

  10. Lauren says:

    Holy crap! I’m speechless. 🙂
    Lauren´s last blog post ..Insanity to the Max

  11. mom says:

    looks FABULOSO!

  12. Tracey says:

    Yum, I bet that rice had amazing flavor! Risotto is one of my favorite dishes to make. I love that you can add anything to it and it will still taste amazing.

  13. Roz says:

    In a word….WOW. Oh wait, I need two words – “wow and yum”. I LOVE foods from other lands!!! This looks amazing, glad you made it, photographed it, shared the recipe with us and enjoyed it!!
    Roz´s last blog post ..The Floodgates opened…

  14. Great recipe Mara! I haven’t made risotto in AGES. I really need to break out my arborio. SO wish I had a bag of real Italian rice though!! how cool 😀
    Mary (What’s Cookin’ with Mary)´s last blog post ..Maple Soy Glazed Salmon 5 ingredients – plus hot sauce

  15. that meal looks lovely!
    Salah@myhealthiestlifestyle´s last blog post ..At Work

  16. Lizz says:

    Okay, that looks friggin delicious!! I hope you saved some for me!!

  17. Such a beautiful presentation, Mara!
    Clare @ Fitting It All In´s last blog post ..Blast From The Past

  18. Quix says:

    Let’s get rid of the “kinda” from the awesome and you got it right there. That looks AMAZING.

    And I would totally eat ganache with a spoon. 🙂

  19. Marianne says:

    Delicious! I love a good risotto, and that definitely looks like a good one 🙂
    Marianne´s last blog post ..The 19th Annual Wellness Show – Giveaway

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