Risotto alla Longobarda (Risotto with Dried Porcini Mushrooms, Taleggio, and Saffron)

Last fall we had a wonderful evening with Bea at Antica Trattoria Galleria in Milano, where we enjoyed a risotto that was listed on the menu as Risotto all Longobarda. It contained porcini mushrooms, taleggio cheese, and saffron. Here is my version, which has a bit more of the ‘expensive’ ingredients compared to the version at the restaurant. It make the risotto more creamy and flavorful. The risotto is vegetarian if you make it with vegetable stock.

Ingredients

For 2 generous or 3 smaller servings

  • 200 grams (1 cup) risotto rice (carnaroli, arborio)
  • 30 grams (1 oz) dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1/4 teaspoon of saffron threads
  • 110 grams (4 oz) taleggio cheese, crust removed and diced
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 litre (2 cups) homemade chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) dry white wine
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

Put 30 grams of dried porcini mushrooms in a bowl and add 1/4 litre (1 cup) of hot water. Make sure the mushrooms are all submerged in the water and allow them to soak.

Heat up 1/2 litre of chicken or vegetable stock in a pot and keep it hot.

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a wide, low, thick-bottomed pan over medium heat.

Add a minced small onion, and stir over medium heat until the onion is slightly golden, 5 to 10 minutes.

Add 200 grams risotto rice, and toast the rice over medium heat for a couple of minutes.

Increase the heat to medium-high and deglaze with 60 ml of dry white wine.

Season the rice with salt. Stir until the rice is almost dry, then add a ladle of hot stock.

Adjust the heat such that the stock is simmering. Stir until the rice is almost dry, then add another ladle of stock. Keep stirring and adding stock like that until you run out of stock.

When the stock has almost run out, drain the soaked mushrooms and catch the soaking liquid. Filter the mushroom soaking liquid through kitchen paper or a cheesecloth. Pour the filtered mushroom soaking liquid into the pot in which you kept the stock warm, and heat it up.

Rinse the mushrooms under running water to remove any sand, then chop them roughly and add them to the rice.

Now continue cooking the risotto by stirring and adding ladles of liquid, but now using the mushroom soaking liquid. If you run out of liquid before the rice is cooked al dente, you can use hot water instead.

When the rice is al dente, turn off the heat. Put 1/4 teaspoon of saffron threads in a small bowl and add about 4 tablespoons of boiling water. Allow to soak for a minute…

…and then add the saffron with the water to the risotto.

Add 110 grams of diced taleggio cheese.

Stir over low heat until the cheese has melted.

Turn off the heat. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Allow the risotto to rest for a minute before serving on preheated plates.

Flashback

Chile en Nogada was created in 1821 by the Pueblan Nuns as a festive food to honor a visit from revolutionary general Don Augustín de Iturbide. Mexico had just won its independence from Spain. The colors of the dish are the same as in the Mexican flag: green poblano pepper and parsley, white walnut sauce, and red pomegranate seeds. It is a roasted poblano pepper filled with a picadillo of pork with fruits and nuts.

6 thoughts on “Risotto alla Longobarda (Risotto with Dried Porcini Mushrooms, Taleggio, and Saffron)

  1. Love risotto and make it often pretty much your way. Appreciate the suggestion of using the mushroom soaking water a part of undoubtedly tasty ‘stock’. Taleggio cheese has led to interesting homework . . . seems versions of it are made locally at pretty horrendous prices . . . may splurge or use one of the alternatives suggested . . . but shall make !

    Liked by 1 person

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