Mushroom Risotto (Risotto ai Funghi)

There are so many recipes on this blog, that I do not know by heart everything that’s on it. And so I only recently noticed that I had never posted a recipe for risotto ai funghi, because every time I made it I thought there was no need to photograph it, as surely it was already on the blog. Well it wasn’t, and so that’s why I took photographs when I made this for tonight’s dinner.

Mushroom risotto is one of the most common risotto recipes and it is very tasty because of the umami from the mushrooms and parmigiano. The advantage of using dried mushrooms for a part is that the soaking liquid is perfect for providing extra flavor to the risotto. You could use any mix of mushrooms for this risotto. Like any risotto, it takes about half an hour of stirring to make it, but it is worth it.

If you use vegetable stock it is vegetarian; with chicken stock it will have slightly more flavor. The stock determines the flavor of the risotto, so it is definitely worth it to use homemade stock. If you don’t make your own stock, watch out that the stock you are using is not too high in salt. As the flavor of the stock will be concentrated during the cooking process, a salty stock can easily lead to a risotto that is too salty to eat.

Ingredients

For 2 servings

150 grams (3/4 cup) risotto rice, my favorite type is carnaroli

450 grams (1 lb) mixed fresh mushrooms, roughly chopped

30 grams (1 oz) dried porcini mushrooms

250 ml (1 cup) boiling water

500 ml (2 cups) chicken stock or vegetable stock, preferably homemade

80 ml (1/3 cup) dry white wine

1 small onion, minced

5 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp butter

freshly grated parmigiano reggiano

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 Tbsp minced fresh flat leaf parsley

Instructions

Put the dried porcini mushrooms in a bowl and cover with boiling water.

Allow to soak for about 15 minutes.

In the meantime, sauté the fresh mushrooms in olive oil over medium-high heat. Sauté each type separately because the cooking times may be different. Use the same pan you will be using for the risotto, so it should be wide and shallow, with a thick bottom so it holds heat well.

Once they are done, lift them out the pan with a strainer such that the oil will stay behind.

Put the cooked mushrooms on a plate and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Do the same with the other types of fresh mushrooms.

Meanwhile, strain the soaked mushrooms, reserving the liquid. Filter the liquid with kitchen paper to remove any sand.

Briefly sauté the reconstituted porcini mushrooms in the same pan as the other mushrooms, and set them aside as well.

Heat the stock and keep it hot but not boiling.

Add the onion to the same pan.

Stir over medium heat until the onion is translucent.

Add the rice.

Toast the rice over medium heat for a couple of minutes, stirring. Increase the heat to medium-high.

Add the white wine.

Stir until the wine has been absorbed.

Add a ladle (about 80 ml or 1/3 cup) of hot stock.

Stir until the stock has been absorbed. As soon as the stock has been absorbed, add another ladle of stock. Keep stirring and adding stock as needed for about 10 minutes.

Now it is time to switch over from using stock to the mushroom soaking liquid, which you should also add hot.

After using up about two thirds of the mushroom soaking liquid, add the cooked mushrooms to the rice.

Stir to incorporate the mushrooms. Add the rest of the mushroom soaking liquid. Keep stirring.

Start tasting the rice about 15 minutes after you added the first ladle of stock. If the rice is still too hard, continue to add stock and stir until the rice is cooked al dente. Then turn of the heat.

Add freshly grated parmigiano (about a handful) and a tablespoon of butter in small pieces.

Stir to incorporate, which is called mantecare in Italian. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Allow the risotto to rest for a couple of minutes.

Serve on preheated plates, sprinkled with parsley and some more parmigiano.

Wine pairing

This is great with an oaked Verdicchio. If you prefer red, an earthy light to medium bodied red would also work, like a Pinot Noir.

Flashback

Fresh pasta with scallops, shallots, and almonds is a great pasta dish that uses surprisingly few ingredients to deliver such great depth of flavor.

5 thoughts on “Mushroom Risotto (Risotto ai Funghi)

  1. My favourite risotto as well ! We do prepare it almost the same way tho’ I have not always included dry mushrooms which however makes total sense ! I must admit to a little more wine . . . and think the quality of the stock makes the dish . . . I would not prepare it with the store bought variety. Sometimes I do make fresh vegetable stock just for the porpoise . . . but, and you may think this too ‘heavy’, have enjoyed a veal/beef stock with success. I have nowhere your wine knowledge but love some of our oaked verdicchios and think I have married such to the dish before . . .

    Liked by 1 person

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