Apr 17 • 1M

Easter Special: Risotto with Wild Hop Shoots

Risotto with bruscandoli | Audio recipe in Venetian dialect

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Venetian recipes narrated in the local dialect - Ricette Veneziane raccontate in dialetto
Episode details


Hi, and welcome to Dash of Prosecco. You’re about to listen to a recipe for risotto with bruscandoli (a type of spring foraged greens), as found in an old recipe book1 written in the local dialect and kindly narrated by Matteo Barabba Barbieri, a lover of books and a born and bred Venetian (more about him below).

  • English + Italian translations below.

  • Scroll to read about the voice behind the recipe and more info about this and the upcoming audio recipe episodes!

Risotto with bruscandoli (wild hop shoots). Photo credits: Igor Fumato, friend, chef, fisherman, forager and proud Mestrino (inhabitant of Mestre, the mainland portion of the city of Venice where I live, too).

De Zuliani’s Wild Hop Shoot Risotto

Bruscandoli, often mistaken for wild asparagus, are the shoots of the wild hop, foraged in spring and used in risottos, pasticcios, lasagnas and frittatas. (About de Zuliani family)2

Add to a pot a glassful of oil, a small onion finely chopped, salt, and pepper. As soon as the onion is ready (soffritta = almost fried, sautéed), add the chopped bruscandoli. Mix well and, soon after (but not immediately), add the rice (on full espresso cup per person), and start adding the stock little by little until the rice will be perfectly done. Traditionally, this risotto is not dry, but rather smooth and soft. Before taking it off the stove, add some butter and a handful of grated Parmigiano. - Translation from the Venetian dialect by Sinù Fogarizzu.

Alternative risotto method (by a friend & chef) in the footnotes3

No Bruscandoli?

If bruscandoli don’t grow spontaneously where you live (image below), you could use asparagus or a wild plant with a strong herbaceous, salty and asparagus-like taste.

I'm investigating alternatives to wild hop shoots that would go nicely in risotto and which grow in different parts of the world. If you have any ideas or suggestions for me and the other readers leave a comment below!

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Risotto con i Bruscanoli (casa Zuliani)

I bruscandoli, erroneamente chiamati asparagi selvatici, sono le punte del luppolo selvatico, raccolto in primavera e usato per risotto, pasticci, lasagne e frittate.

Versare in un tegame mezzo bicchiere d’olio, una cipolla tagliata fine, sale, pepe. Non appena la cipolla si sarà soffritta, aggiungere i bruscandoli tagliati a pezzettini. Mescolare per bene e, poco dopo, buttare anche il riso (una tazzina da caffè a testa), cominciando ad allungare con il brodo aggiunto un poco alla volta, fino a che il riso non sarà cotto al punto giusto. Per tradizione, questo risotto non è asciutto, ma anzi deve restare abbastanza morbido. Prima di toglierlo da fuoco, aggiungere un po’ di burro e una pugnetto di parmigiano grattuggiato. - Traduzione dal dialetto veneziano a cura di Sinù Fogarizzu.

Recipes have always been passed down orally so why not honour this tradition?

When I started translating A Tola Co I Nostri Veci, an old book of Venetian recipes written in the local dialect, it was as if someone was actually reading it to me.

I could hear the damn book, and it spoke Venetian!

Traditionally, recipes are passed down orally, so I, too, have decided to add sound to the delicious equation, and created the Dash of Prosecco podcast!

In other words, every now and then, I’ll publish recipes accompanied by an audio narration by someone local. My hope is humble and simple: contributing, with what I do best, in keeping the taste, language and stories of the land that welcomed me alive.

Matteo Barabba Barbieri is the voice behind today’s narrated recipe.

The Voice

We’re starting off with a young, poetic voice from the lagoon. Because this is as much about the food and culture as it is about the people.

Matteo Barabba Barbieri, born in Venice in 1985, is a bookseller and avid reader. With his project "Dice il Serpente - Libraio Errante", he’s been cycling around Italy reading poetry to passers-by in piazzas and bookstores; when travelling was possible no more, he started reading poetry on the phone.

Thank you, Matteo (and Chiara) for being exquisitely available to read and record this in the span of two days, right before Easter weekend, without notice, and without even knowing me. I owe you a drink!

The Podcast

I’m still figuring out the details but this is what I know at the minute:

  • Each episode will bring you a narrated recipe from A Tola Co I Nostri Veci (I wrote about the book here).

  • Narrated recipes will come with an Italian and English translation in written form and some added commentary maybe?

  • If you have a question regarding a recipe or a special request, leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to help!

Most importantly, this is a living project, bound to change and evolve. Possibly, for the better :) Thank you for being here, and Happy Easter, Ramadan, and Passover weekend to those celebrating!

Sending a newsletter on Easter Sunday means no one will read it, right? Mmmm maybe not. Not all of us will be busy cooking and enjoying company today. If that’s you, I hope this fun experiment with sound, recipes, and Venetian dialect will entertain you and make you feel heard and seen because I did create it just for you.

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A Tola Co I Nostri Veci:  Book from the 1970s collecting traditional recipes from Venice and the Veneto region. Everyone knows it, no one cooks from it. It’s written in the local dialect and there is no Italian nor English version available to date (as far as I know). I wrote more about this book here.


Zuliani family. “They came from Trieste, they were wise, greatly intelligent and proud servants of the fatherland. They joined the Maggior Consiglio (Venice’s major governing body) in 1131 and commissioned the church of Santa Maria della Carità.”


Recipe: risotto with bruscandoli by Igor Fumato - friend, chef, fisherman, forager and proud Mestrino (inhabitant of Mestre, the mainland portion of the city of Venice where I live, too).

Sautée some white onion or shallot, in extra virgin olive oil, add the bruscandoli in small pieces (they have a natural breaking point where the hard part starts), add the rice and toast it, stirring for 5 minutes, deglaze with white wine and then cook by adding vegetable broth. When cooked, add a knob of butter and some Grana Padano! Salt to taste.