A lovely layered casserole of borlotti bean risotto, and hot sizzling melting butter and cheese. From Italy’s far north, the Valle d’Aosta.

  Time: about 1 hour
  Difficulty: easy
  Serves: 4


  • 200 g carnaroli rice

  • stock—meat, poultry or vegetable, as desired, as much as you need

  • 250 g canned borlotti beans, drained

  • salt to taste

  • several tablespoons butter as  desired

  • 200 g valdostana fontina cheese, thinly sliced

  • parmesan or grana, as needed


Cook the rice in stock to cover; halfway through, add the drained beans and keep adding stock, stirring it all together until the liquid is mostly absorbed. Season with salt to taste.

Melt the butter until it starts to brown; pour half into a baking dish, along with a few slices of the fontina. (Be generous with the butter and cheese, because these are the ingredients that make this dish special.)

Spread half of the risotto with the beans on the bed of butter and cheese, and finish with sliced fontina cheese and the melted  butter. Sprinkle with the Parmesan  or grana cheese, and bake for 10-15 minutes at 180°C.