With colder months approaching, risotto with porcini mushrooms becomes one of the favourite, comforting winter dishes. Especially in Northern Italy, where the porcini (also known as cep) grow in abundance.
This recipe was taught to me by my uncle Carlo, who came from Brescia. He would come at our house once a year and prepare this creamy, rich and flavourful risotto. Even though other mushrooms can be used to prepare this dish, the best results are obtained by using the aromatic and nutty cep - fresh or dried. If using fresh mushrooms, add them to the risotto the last 10 minutes of cooking.
Risotto with Porcini mushrooms
Ingredients for 4 people:
- 360gr of Arborio Rice
- 50gr of dried Porcini mushrooms
- 1 medium onion
- 50 gr of butter
- 200 ml of white cooking wine
- 800 ml of vegetable stock
- 60gr of grated parmesan
1. Soak the mushrooms in a bowl of hot water for about 30 minutes. With a small sieve, remove them and set them aside. Allow the liquid to rest for a few minutes and then pour it gently through a sieve with a very fine mesh, so to leave the sediments behind. The liquid obtained will be used as part of the stock.
2. Prepare 800 ml of vegetable stock and keep it hot. Finely chop the onion. Melt half of the butter in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, on very slow heat. Add the onion and let it cook for about 5 minutes, until softened. Add the rice and let it roast 2 or 3 minutes, stirring continuously, until it becomes translucent.
3. Add the wine and stir well. Allow the wine to completely evaporate, before adding the liquid from the mushroom. Stir well and add the soaked porcini.Wait for the stock to be absorbed, adding a ladleful at time as required, until the risotto is completely cooked and creamy.
4. Switch the heat off, and then add the remaining butter and the grated parmesan. Mix in well, cover and wait for a couple of minutes for the flavours to combine. Serve with extra grated parmesan and a bottle of Chardonnay.