Recipe: Perfect Mushroom Risotto

Mushrooms, with all their meaty umami and rich earthy flavour, are the perfect foil to a well-made risotto’s creamy nuance, the slightly al dente rice grains adding bite to the slick smoothness of the soft mushrooms.

Although in season predominantly in Autumn, our range of dried mushrooms makes it possible to enjoy a wide variety of exotic fungi all year round. Simply soak the dried mushrooms in hot water for 15 minutes, then use them in your favourite stews, salads, braises, fry-up and, of course, this magnificent risotto.

Pass the soaking liquid through a piece of muslin cloth and add it to your stock for an extra mushroom hit.

Ingredients

Serves 4
2 litres chicken or vegetable stock
125mL dry white wine
50g unsalted butter
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil View
1 onion, peeled and very finely chopped
300g Swiss brown mushrooms, sliced
50g dried porcini mushrooms View
350g Vialone Nano or Carnaroli rice View
60g Parmigiano Reggiano, freshly grated
80g unsalted butter
Salt and pepper
Butter and sage leaves to finish

Soak porcini for 15 minutes in enough warm water to cover, stir gently, strain and add liquid to stock. Chop mushrooms.

Heat the stock in a saucepan and leave to simmer.

Heat the olive oil and butter in a large pan over a low heat, add the onion and fry until soft but not coloured.

Add the mushrooms and the porcini and cook for 5 minutes, until soft and lightly browned.

Add the rice and stir to toast the grains (tostatura) for a minute or two, then add one or two ladles of boiling stock.

Stir continuously, adding stock a ladle at a time until the stock is absorbed.

The cooking time will vary but after about 20 minutes check the rice. It is done when the grains are tender but still firm (al dente).

Remove from heat and rest for a minute.

Pan fry sage leaves in butter until crisp.

The final step in making a risotto is called “mantecatura”. This describes the process of incorporating butter and grated cheese into the risotto, binding the ingredients and achieving a creamy texture. Add the butter and cheese and toss the rice with the butter and parmesan. The risotto should move like a rippling wave (all’onda).

Season to taste.

Serve on warm plates topped with fried sage leaves.

Note: Dried mushrooms have not been washed. Cover dried porcini in warm water and soak for about 15 minutes. Pick the mushrooms out of the water and then carefully strain the water to remove grit. The remaining liquid will taste intensely of mushrooms and can be added to the stock.

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