Camillo Benso Conte di Cavour

Turin, 1810 – Turin, 1861

Life and History

Camillo Benso Conte di Cavour

Cavour, the great unifier of Italy, began his career as a young student at the Military Academy. At some point, he decided that the soldier’s life, even a high-ranking soldier, was not for him. He dedicated himself to family affairs and managing a couple of estates that his father had given him.

He loved life and enjoyed all of life’s pleasures: love, good food, and trips throughout Europe, especially London and Paris. He had an innovative mind and was fascinated by how modern countries like England had become after the industrial revolution. Turning his attention to Italy, a fragmented and backwards country with an agricular economy, he decided in the country needed a clear vision.

He also recognized that territorial unification would lead to the possibility of economic, tegnological and policital development. He entered into politics at 40. He began working in Piedmont, and then started to create alliances and gain power. He finally saw the fruit of his labor then Italy was finally unified politically.

Cavour loved good food, however he suffered from various health problems. He had a stressful job and fast pace of life. He died at 51 from a strange fever he had been living with for a while.

The recipe

Risotto al Barolo, one of Cavour’s favorites

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • 1 lb Carnaroli rice
  • 1 ¾ oz butter
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 2 cups Barolo wine
  • meat broth to taste
  • 1 bay leaf

(15 minutes preparation + 20 minutes cooking)

In a saucepan, brown some chopped onion in butter with a bay leaf; then add the rice and allow it to absorb the flavours. Pour the wine and allow to evaporate; cook the risotto stirring and adding the meat stock little by little. Remove from the heat and stir in a knob of butter and the grated cheese; serve piping hot.

Gastronomic Library
M. RINALDI, La storia è servita: vizi e virtù nel piatto dei grandi della storia, Milano, Golosia & C., 1996;
A. PAVONE, Personalità a tavola: l'evoluzione gastronomica e le ricette dei grandi personaggi della storia, Valentano, Scipioni, 1998;
ACCADEMIA ItalianA DELLA CUCINA, Ricettario nazionale delle cucine regionali Italiane, Studio Ricciardi, 1990 c.

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