Carnaroli rice, also known as the prince of rice, is one of the most famous and used rice varieties. It has a firm and tasty grain, which manages to release the right amount of starch and makes it particularly suitable for risottos. Its typical characteristic is its resistance to cooking, which guarantees good yields even for those not precisely cooking experts.
Characteristics Of Carnaroli Rice
Carnaroli rice belongs to the Japanese variety and can be white or wholemeal. Due to the grain’s larger size and elongated shape, it is classified as superfine rice. It has a pearly color and excellent resistance, which helps to keep it firm even with prolonged cooking (it does not overcook). This is the most recognized characteristic, for which it has become the most used variety in the kitchen.
Carnaroli rice is perfect for risotto because it contains a good amount of starch, which helps obtain an incredible creaminess. The grain, of excellent consistency, tends to remain separated and well-shelled even after cooking.
Benefits Of This Variety
Carnaroli is a very digestible and easily assimilable rice. It helps regulate the bacterial flora and promotes regular intestinal transit. This variety of rice contains essential fatty acids, such as potassium, which can help reduce blood pressure.
Due to its high digestibility, carnaroli does not tire the stomach and is the ideal food for those who suffer from stomach problems or fear drowsiness after a meal. It has a low sodium content and a high concentration of B-group vitamins and simple carbohydrates, which are immediately metabolized by the body without gaining fat. Furthermore, this type of rice is gluten-free and suitable for celiacs.
Carnaroli: Glycemic Index
Among the essential characteristics of this rice is its low impact on blood sugar. Carnaroli has a glycemic index of 70 and is thus among the rice with the lowest GI, whether white or wholemeal quality. For those who follow a low-glycemic-index diet or those with diabetes, it may be helpful to lower the glycemic index by detaching the rice and soaking it in cold water.
For Which Dishes Is Carnaroli Suitable?
When we talk about Carnaroli, the first thought goes to risotto. The high percentage of amylose and low stickiness make it, in fact, a perfect variety for many dishes. Its slightly sweet flavor is a versatile base for enhancing the flavor of many ingredients. Perfect for combinations with more potent ingredients, such as porcini mushrooms, Taleggio, or asparagus, with more delicate flavors, such as pumpkin or radicchio creams and Parmigiano Reggiano.
Carnaroli always produces creamy risottos that are well-creamed and have separated grains. Thanks to its ability to absorb condiments, it is also suitable for fish recipes and widely used to prepare flan croquettes, arancini, and rice salads. However, it is not recommended to use Carnaroli rice to prepare desserts due to its lack of stickiness.
Advice On Cooking Times
The best way to know if rice is ready is to taste it. However, he reminds us that undercooked rice burdens digestion and overcooked rice loses part of its nutritional value. Carnaroli rice is cooked either as a risotto, i.e., with total absorption of the water in which it is cooked, or boiled. Cooking times are approximately as follows:
- Cooking times for risotto: approximately 18 minutes
- Cooking times for boiled rice: about 16 minutes
- The wholemeal Carnaroli version contains part of bran, therefore requiring more cooking time (up to 30–40 minutes) and releasing less starch.
Does Carnaroli Rice Need To Be Washed?
To create a creamy and well-creamed dish, rice should never be washed. Starch is the fundamental and indispensable protagonist for the success of risotto. However, suppose you suffer from gastritis or gastroesophageal reflux. In that case, you can clean the rice before cooking it to obtain a more digestible food suitable for those who have to limit starches in their diet.
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