This Italian Risotto Was One Of The Royal Household's Favorite Dishes

A much-admired dish for its creamy texture, making risotto is not for the faint of heart. Needing lots of attention, patience is key to making risotto, as well as high-quality ingredients and a mastery of cooking techniques. Thus, risotto is often viewed as an elevated dish suitable for high-end restaurants — or for a queen.

Risotto, according to Food Network, originated in Italy and is made from arborio, a short grain rice, which is cooked with warmed stock that is slowly ladled into the pot multiple times in order to gently turn the rice into a creamy and delicious dish. It's often finished with freshly grated cheese, butter, mushrooms, and herbs. 

When chef Enrico Derflingher worked for the British royal family from 1987 to 1990, he brought with him his Italian recipes and approach to meals, according to Country Living. During those years, Derflingher worked primarily at Kensington Palace, where Queen Victoria was born and lived, and the royal family has resided for more than 300 years, according to Historic Royal Places

A dish fit for a queen

During his years working for Queen Elizabeth and her family, Derflingher said he oversaw the kitchen and its meals for large banquets at the different estates owned by the queen. One of those dishes, which became a royal family favorite he told Country Living, was Queen Victoria Risotto. This dish is made from Sicilian red shrimps, parmesan, herbs, and Italian sparkling wine.

The first version of the risotto was made by Derflingher for a state dinner with President Ronald Reagan, according to Taste of Home.  However, before he served what became Queen Victoria Risotto to Her Majesty, he tweaked the recipe. It ended up being served at important events at Buckingham Palace and later the White House, which is where Derflingher went to work after leaving his job in England.

Want to try Queen Victoria Risotto yourself and know what the royals enjoy eating? Derflingher provides the recipe on his website. It calls for celery, carnaroli rice, dry sparking wine, butter, wild fennel, parmesan cheese, and of course, Sicilian red prawns.