Vegan Carnaroli Risotto Recipe by Linda Coogan Byrne

Vegan Carnaroli Risotto with Brasil nut Spinach pesto and Mushroom.

Carnaroli is known as “The King of Rices“. It is a terrific medium-grain rice grown in the Pavia, Novara and Vercelli provinces of Northern Italy. Having just been to Venice and sampling their delicious fresh Vegetables, Fruit & rice dishes, I thought I’d try an authentic Italian recipe when I arrived home. I really didn’t want to come home though! It should be mandatory for people to visit this beautifully charming place. Venice is by far one of my top Global destinations. The town itself and its locals have not lost their authentic identity amidst an ever changing world. They still sit and sip grappa in the early morning and carry out their daily duties with a style and panache entirely unique to the ease of setting that is Venice and its people. I was therefore glad to have been able to take home a piece of its culture and apply it to my plate!

Carnaroli rice is traditionally used for making risotto, differing from the more commonly used arborio rice due to its higher starch content and firmer texture, as well as having a slightly longer grain. I think of it as the larger scale more robust risotto! Due to these various differences to other rice it holds its shape better during the slow cooking equipped for making quality risotto. This is mainly down to higher quantities of amylose present within it.

Health benefits: the benefits of eating rice is found in GABA (gamma amino butyric acid), an amino acid found in common health foods, such as green snap beans, peaches and in this instance rice. GABA is known to do the following: Lower anxiety, increases the sleep cycle giving deeper rest, lowers blood pressure, and improves other cardiovascular functions. Get it into you!

Now, lets get cooking!


For the risotto:
6 cups of gluten free vegetable broth, approximately
2 cups of soya milk
2 Tbs. basil flavoured olive oil
A few sprigs fresh thyme
2 cups Carnaroli rice
2 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbs. of chopped fresh spinach
Freshly ground black pepper

Bring to the boil stirring constantly for about 25-30 minutes adding liquid as it absorbs until fully cooked.


I made a homemade pesto with:
Brasil nut (ground down around 6 whole nuts)
Spinach (1cup)
Basil (1/2cup)
sprinkle of Olive oil
balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper

Add to food processor and hey pesto!

Mix in with the rice once it is fully cooked.

For the mushrooms
3 cups assorted mushrooms, coarsely sliced
1  Tbs olive oil
Sprinkle of Salt and Black pepper

Add on top of Rice and enjoy!




Linda Coogan Byrne
I’m an entertainment publicist, illustrator and writer. Besides the obvious love for music, art and words; I hold great passion for film, psychology, theatre, travel, health & fitness. I also have a diploma in nutrition and I am a vegan and coeliac. Web:
LindaCoogan    LindaCoogan

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