Loretta Sebastiani

Loretta Sebastiani
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Risotto with borlotti beans
( Risotto con i fagioli freschi)

Our original home cooking

Risotto with borlotti beans is a typical dish of late summer and early autumn when you find borlotti beans in their pod easily. But you can prepare it all year round if you choose frozen beans. It's a vegetarian risotto, ideal for a vegan diet too. Besides it's a typical recipe for Mediterranean diet provided you use brown rice and fresh beans. In fact Mediterranean diet recommends us to observe the seasonality of fruit and vegetables and eat carbohydrates from whole grains.

difficulty: medium

time: 1 h 10 minutes

calories: 550 (kCal)

Ingredients / Serves 2

  • About 400g (14 ounces) borlotti beans in their pod
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 stick of celery, finely chopped
  • 2 fresh young onions, finely chopped
  • 250g (8 3/4 ounces - 1 cup) puréed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon dried chives
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 250ml (8 1/2 fluid ounces - 1cup) red wine
  • About 800ml (1 2/3 pints - 3 1/3 cups) vegetable stock
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 160g (5.6 ounces) long-grain, parboiled rice
  • Grated Parmesan, if you like
medium difficulty
preparation: 25 minutes
cooking: 45 minutes
total: 1 h 10 minutes
How many calories in a serving?
Calories: 550 (kcal) 28 % - 2302 (kJ)
Protein: 19.3 (g) 39 % GDA
Total fat: 11.5 (g) 17 % GDA
Total carbohydrate: 98.7 (g) 37 % GDA
Sugars: 11.6 (g) 13 % GDA

Download free PDF version (328 download).

Borlotti bean risotto How-To

Preparation and cooking

  • - Shell borlotti beans and put them in a pan with abundant cold water without salt.
    Add a dried bay leaf and bring to the boil.
    When water boils, lower the flame and continue cooking, half-covered, until beans are tender.
    Remember beans must be cooked with rice for other 15-20 minutes.
    Remember you can't add any cold water and borlotti beans must be always covered with water.
    Add boiling water only if necessary
  • - Once cooked, drain borlotti beans and put apart.
    Keep cooking liquid apart. You'll use it to prepare your vegetable stock!
    Blend one third of borlotti beans with a tablespoon of their cooking liquid and put apart.
  • - Prepare vegetable stock and keep it boiling.
  • - Put olive oil together with carrot, celery, onions and the second dried bay leaf in a large saucepan.
  • - Let all ingredients fry slightly on low heat, stirring now and then.
  • - Add puréed tomatoes and let all ingredients flavor for few minutes on a medium heat, stirring now and then with a wooden spoon.
  • - Now add rice and let all cooking juice reduce very well, stirring now and then.
  • - Pour in wine, stir and let it evaporate completely, stirring frequently.
  • - Then add beans and 2 ladles of boiling stock.
  • - Let stock reduce well before adding other one.
    Remember to stir frequently.
  • - Continue cooking, adding stock when necessary, until rice is tender or according to package directions.
  • - Your risotto must be dry and rice grains must be separated.
  • - A minute before turning off the stove add puréed beans, chives and parsley.

Just before serving

  • - Wait some minutes before serving.
  • - Serve your risotto accompanied with a little bowl, full of grated Parmesan.
    Everyone will be able to sprinkle it on the top of his risotto according to his own taste.



  • - You can use frozen beans (300g - 10 1/2 ounces) instead of fresh ones. In this case follow package directions for cooking them. But you can also use canned beans (1 400g - 14 ounce can); in this case you should add them, well drained, 5 minutes before the end of cooking.
  • - Any bean risotto left? don't worry. It tastes fantastic if you warm it up.

Menu planning

  • - Borlotti bean risotto is a tasty dish for your family menu.
    Add other ingredients such as sausage or bacon, if you want to serve it in your get-togethers.

Healthy eating

  • - Daily menu. Risotto with borlotti beans has few ingredients. It's a typical vegetarian dish. It's perfect for your family lunch in late summer and early fall. Read its nutrition facts. I didn't calculate grated Parmesan. Every 10g of Parmesan you can add about 38 calories. Eat some seasonal vegetables if you're still hungry. Chicory, fennel or the last bell peppers are perfect to munch on. Complete your meal with fresh seasonal fruit.
    I remember rice should be eaten preferably at lunch and the calories eaten at lunch should be 500 - 700 (30 - 35% of energy needs for an adult if his daily needs are about 2000 calories and he correctly divides his calories into 5 micro-meals).
    At dinner you could eat a portion of meat (100g - 3 1/2 ounces) or fish (150g - 5 1/3 ounces) with raw or cooked vegetables and a portion of bread (50g - 1 3/4 ounce).
    If you follow a vegetarian diet you can eat a portion of fresh cheese such as ricotta or mozzarella (100g - 3 1/2 ounces) or aged cheese (60g - 1 3/2 ounce) with raw or cooked vegetables and a portion of bread (50g - 1 3/4 ounce).
    You could choose minestrone soup instead of boiled vegetables.
    Here are the doses per head: 80g (2.8 ounces) long-grain, parboiled rice, 200g (7 ounces) fresh beans in the pod, a little onion, carrot and celery stick, the amount you prefer of chives and parsley, 100g (3 1/2 ounce) puréed tomatoes, 300ml (10 fluid ounces or 1 1/3 cup) vegetable stock, 2 teaspoons olive oil and less than half a glass of wine.
  • - Fresh borlotti bean risotto has only 9.3 grams of fiber. The recommended daily value is 30g.
  • - If you want to drink a glass of wine remember you have to add 80-85 kcal per 100 ml.
  • - I remember you my original home recipes can be made without salt. There is always a combination of flavors that substitutes salt


What's the right wine for " Risotto with borlotti beans "?

My husband and I always pair Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Cerasuolo (red wine from Italy) to this risotto with borlotti beans.