Marcello Zaccaria has been working as a Chef for Barilla Group since 2001. His career includes extensive experience in Italian and foreign restaurants, from Tuscany to Switzerland, up to an important position in Japan.

Namely, as part of Academia Barilla he takes care of organising and setting up various activities: cooking courses and product presentations at trade fairs, Gala Dinners and Pasta Parties. A member of the Italian Federation of Chefs, in 2016 he became an international Ambassador of Italian cuisine and in 2018 he joined the panel of the “Superior Taste Award” on behalf of the International Taste & Quality Institute in Brussels.


“Risoni” is a type of pasta generally used for soups and salads. With a contemporary variation of its use, in this recipe it becomes the creative element.

This preparation with a delicate taste contains various ingredients, which are used in their entirety to enhance their aromas, entirely in line with the principles of reducing waste in the kitchen.

The Chef recommends using a rectangular mould for the best possible plating, in order to obtain the desired shape and start eating with your eyes and then surprise the palate when you taste the dish.

For the choice of plate, preferably use a flat one, white or with pale colours.


Ingredients for 4 people

360g Risoni Barilla pasta

1 orange
4 asparagus
2 shallots
1 bunch of wild fennel
Salt and pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
White wine
20g butter
30g Parmesan cheese

For the broth
1 celery branch
1 carrott
½ onion
Shrimps heads and shells

For the parsley oil:
about 25g of freshly picked parsley
50g extra virgin olive oil

Phase 1
Clean the giant red shrimps without removing the heads and shells, which we will use immediately to prepare the broth. Combine the heads and shells with the celery, carrot and onion in a casserole with 3 litres of water and leave to cook for about 20 minutes.

Right after the shrimps, clean the asparagus with a potato peeler. Remove the more filamentous outer part, which we will add to the broth and possibly dehydrate it for the decoration at the end.
Phase 2
Marinate the shrimps for 15 minutes with the grated orange peel, salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil and a few sprigs of fennel.
Phase 3
Cook the Risoni pasta in a skillet with the oil and shallots, add a bit of white wine and leave until cooked in the broth. In the meantime, put the saffron in a glass and rehydrate it with about 1/2 glass of hot broth. Add the saffron about 2/3 of the way in cooking.
Phase 4
While the risoni is cooking, brown the shrimp tails with a drizzle of oil, salt and pepper in another pan.
Phase 5
Turn off the heat from the pan with the risoni pasta and thicken with a bit of cold butter and Parmesan cheese to adjust the taste.
Phase 6
Take a plate, put a square mould at the centre and fill it completely with the Risoni, trying, as much as you can, to create a homogeneous cube.
Phase 7
For dehydrated asparagus:

NOTE: this is something you need to do beforehand, as drying requires at least 1 hour

Take the asparagus spears, blanch them in boiling salted water for 1 minute, cool them and dry them in the oven or dryer for as long as needed.

For the parsley oil:

Take the parsley, wash it thoroughly, blanch it in boiling salted water for 1 minute and then cool it in water. Wring it out and liquidise it with some oil. The final result must be a bright green oil with a fairly liquid consistency. Complete the plating with the shrimp tails and the dehydrated asparagus spears. Place the asparagus slightly blanched in boiling water and passed in the oil for a few seconds. Finish with a few drops of parsley oil on the plate around the cube of risoni.