When someone on Instagram asks us “Which Ruffoni do you recommend to start my collection?” Our advice is usually the Chef Pan. It’s true, a parent shouldn't have a favorite child, but our Chef Pan checks all the boxes to become a (a, not the!) favorite in the kitchen.
Practical and versatile, the Chef Pan is the perfect starting point for a copper collection that will grow over the years
What is a Chef Pan?
A Chef Pan – also know as Essential Pan or Saucier – is a wonderful, hybrid kitchen ally. Taller than a Frying Pan but lower than a Stockpot, it features a practical stick handle that allows you to mix ingredients with only one hand. The opening is wide, to ensure optimal evaporation when preparing sauces or risottos (we'll get there) and the sides are gently rounded, for easy stirring. Dimension-wise, a Chef Pan is a discreet yet capacious pan: ideal for a family's daily use or small–group entertaining.
What can I cook in a Chef Pan?
A Chef Pan is a cookware wonder, the perfect tool for infinite recipes. One of those pots that we find ourselves reaching for on a daily basis. It’s ideal for sautéing vegetables and sides (click here to discover our glazed carrot recipe!), but also for browning chunks of meat and then simmering them into rich stews. It can be used to prepare nourishing velouté with freshly picked vegetables, the creamy béchamel needed for bubbly pasta bakes (or lasagne!), any kind of hearty soups and also to thicken sauces and reductions. A good Chef Pan is also essential when making pasta — whilst the pasta is boiling in the Stockpot, simmer your favorite sauce in the Chef Pan, drain the pasta two minutes before its full cooking time, and toss it directly into the sauce to complete cooking — but above all this, a Chef Pan really shines when making risotto.
A traditional Italian risotto ai porcini (risotto with porcini mushrooms) prepared and served in the ultimate risotto maker: a copper Chef Pan
Want to try your hand with something less common? A risotto with perch, sage and brown butter will surprise your guests!
Why is the Chef Pan considered the best pan for risotto?
For us Italians, the perfect risotto is a demanding balance of tender rice grains and a velvety sauce — and the secret to a successful risotto lies in evaporation. A wide pot — such as a Braiser or a Frying Pan — prompts fast evaporation, and fast evaporation results in dry rice. A tall Stockpot, on the other hand, successfully slows down evaporation but can lead to a soupy, overcooked risotto. A Chef Pan is the perfect middle ground.
Its wide base ensures a steady, controlled absorption of broth — so that all flavors are absorbed while the water evaporates quickly — and the rounded sides ease stirring and prevent stubborn grains from getting stuck in the corners.
Even Nadia Caterina Munno, The Pasta Queen, agrees: the Chef Pan is the ultimate pasta pan. Do you know that Nadia personally selected a copper Chef Pan — Pinuccia — for her limited edition collection?