Summer Recipe: Chef Marc Vetri’s Zucchini and Basil Risotto

Your seasonal risotto just got that much better.  

When it comes to risotto, choosing the right rice is everything. Compared to the commonly-used arborio rice, carnaroli is firmer with a higher starch content and a longer grain, making it harder to overcook and yielding the creamiest of risottos. It’s also known as the “king of rices.” Who can beat that? Philly phenom Chef Marc Vetri provides an amazing risotto recipe for the summer time.

Chef Marc Vetri’s Zucchini & Basil Risotto


1 cup Acquerello Carnaroli rice
¼ cup yellow onion, minced
1 small/medium zucchini
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil + a drizzle
2 tbsp butter
3 cups water, broth or stock
Handful torn basil
¼cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Chop the zucchini into small cubes and toss with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Place cubes on a baking sheet and roast for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter and 1 tablespoon of the oil in a wide-bottomed pan. Add the onion and cook until translucent and soft.
  • Stir in the rice and let warm for one minute.
  • Add the water, broth, or stock one small pour at a time to slowly cook the rice. Stir constantly the entire time!
  • Keep adding liquid slowly as you stir until the rice is soft and cooked (about 20 to 30 minutes).
  • Stir in the roasted zucchini.
  • Finish by adding another drizzle of olive oil, the remaining tablespoon of butter, the Parmigiano Reggiano, and basil.

Enjoy as you savor a summer evening!