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"Risotto alla Pilota"

The traditional recipe of "Risotto alla Pilota" from Castel d'Ario De.C.O.

With the "pistume" in Castel d'Ario the famous "Risotto alla Pilota" is prepared.

The curious name of this typical Mantuan dish originates in the dialect of the rice mill laborers: in fact, in the Casteldaria area, the rice mills are called "pile" and the "piloti" or "pilarini" were precisely those who worked there.

Since the work in the "piles" was carried out continuously, there was not much time to devote to the preparation of lunch: this technique allowed the rice to be cooked without having to follow its cooking.

At the end of this, the rice is seasoned with the "pistùm rosolà", actually the pistume cooked separately, with the optional addition of the "puntel" (reinforcement) of spare rib, chop, salamella, pork bacon, cooked in a pan or on the grill.

The traditional recipe of Risotto alla Pilota di Castel d'Ario De.C.O.


For 8/10 portions

– 1 kg of Italian Vialone Nano rice (as required by production regulations)

– 1 kg of Pistume Merlotti

– 1.1 / 1.2 liters of water

– 80 g of butter

– 80/100 g of grated Grana Padano cheese

– Coarse kitchen salt q.b.



In a pot, preferably tinned copper or aluminum, bring the water to a strong boil and add the salt.

When the water boils, add the rice and keep it on a medium-high heat, stirring occasionally on the bottom to prevent it from sticking, for around 4/5 minutes until the water is completely absorbed, then move the cauldron to a smaller burner at minimum flame for 15/20 minutes covering the container with a lid, and taking care to place a cloth between the cauldron and the lid, making sure it is not opened before the time indicated above.

After the time has elapsed, uncover the cauldron and after having "turned" the rice with a stick or a wooden spoon, cover and let it "rest" again for another ten minutes.

In the meantime, cook the minced pistume in the butter over a fairly high heat until it is browned (without browning it too much, otherwise it will lose all its fragrance).

When cooked, season the rice by mixing it with the pistume, adding the grated Parmesan a little at a time.

Riso alla Pilota is ready to be served, enjoy your meal!

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