Carnaroli rice, dubbed the king of Italian rice, is a large-grained starchy rice, graded superfino that remains firm while absorbing much liquid, so is prized for risotto. When buying carnaroli rice, it is worth checking that it is from Italy as it is now being produced in other countries. The extra starch in carnaroli rice is responsible for the creamy texture of risotto, so it is important not to wash the rice grains before cooking them.
Carnaroli is high in amylopectin and produces a beautiful, creamy risotto. Another advantage of carnaroli is that there is a longer time between when it is just cooked and when it is overcooked (the rice grains are too soft) thus avoiding that dry stickiness which is so unpleasant in an overcooked risotto.
Carnaroli is among the more expensive rices used for risotto, and it can be hard to find as well. Italian markets are most likely to sell carnaroli rice, but other specialty stores may carry it as well.
Carnaroli rice is used primarily in risotto dishes but it may also be used in other dishes, such as a timbale or a rice salad.