Risotto ai funghi (mushrooms)

Have you forgotten some mushrooms in the lower shelf of the fridge? It is time to resurrect them and make a beautiful risotto! You already know our uncofined love for this dish. However, I did not tell you my great love for mushrooms, yet. The saga started when I was probably 8 years old. I remember having lunch at my friend’s house and after eating “something” brownish, I felt really sick; I went back home, and at night I told my mom that I had mushrooms, but in reality it could have been anything, I wasn’t sure. My mom had already a slighty propensity not to buy or eat mushrooms, so, as you can guess, for the next 10 years, I have not touched a single mushroom and told everybody that I was allergic to them! Than, one day, I tried fettucine con funghi porcini (the best!) at a restaurant that my family went often to. This dish is a real gem in my region, especially during autumn. So I pushed myself to try it, and to make it short, it became my favorite pasta dish with no near competitors! Today, as i remember the falling in love for these delicious “vegetables,” I wanted to show you how to make a wonderful and tasty risotto with them! Of course, with no fresh porcini available in New York City, but as a valid alternative, I really like the portobella mushrooms!


For the risotto

  • 1 cup of carnaroli rice (or arborio)
  • 1 cup of red wine
  • 1/2 scallion
  • j.e. salt

For the mushroom “cream”

  • 100g of portabella mushrooms
  • 2 table spoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 table spoon of dried thyme

For the garnish

  • 100g of portabella mushrooms
  • 1/2 scallion
  • j.e. extra virgin olive oil (EVO)
  • j.e. dried thyme and salt

For the mantecatura

  • j.e. extra virgin olive oil or
  • 10g butter

For the broth

  • mushrooms stalks
  • half red onion
  • j.e. salt and pepper

1. Start by throughly cleaning the mushrooms with cold water. Dry them out and start separating the stalks from the caps.

2. Prepare the broth. In a sauce pan, throw the stalks, half red onion, and enough salt and pepper. Add enough water to cover completely the mushroom stalks and onion, cover it and let it boil.

3. Divide the scallion in half. Ona half will be diced for the risotto, and the other one for stir frying the “garnish” mushroom caps.

The couple!

4. Make the “mushroom cream.” With the mushrooms caps, reserve half of them for the garnish and half for the cream (see below). In a bowl, put the caps dedicated for the cream, throw the dry thyme and extra virigin olive oil, and by using an immersion blender, mix all together until you end up with a nice creamy mixture.

5. In the meantime, cut the remaining mushroom caps in bigger pieces and leave them aside. You will pan fry them and use them to garnish the risotto.

6. It is about time to start your risotto. In a sauce pot, put your EVO oil, and the diced scallion (1/2). Let it soffriggere until the shallot dices get golden and the smell penetrates in your soul.

7. Throw in your carnaroli or arborio rice. Start swirling the rice for 2/3 minutes for a great tostatura. By keep mixing, you make sure the rice does not burn (it’s not a paella!!).

8. Add your cup of red wine and let the alcohol evaporates while swirling the rice. It will take about 2/3 minutes as well.

Let the Red do its job and then evaporate!

9. As the alcohol has completely evaporated, start adding the boiling broth to the rice and continue mixing. Keep doing that for the next few minutes. Never let the rice get too dry!

10. After 10/12 minutes you started your risotto, add the mushroom cream to it and more broth. Mix well so the sauce incoporates well in the rice.

11. At this point, get a fry pan, add some EVO oil and the other 1/2 diced scallion. Let it go with high flame until the shallot dices get golden and then throw in the remaining mushrrom caps that you have cut in bigger pieces (step 5). Add some dry thyme and salt and stir frying the mushrooms for about 10 minutes, so they get soft and crispy. Occosionally, mix them and add some broth if they start sticking to the pan.

12. Going back to the sauce pot with the risotto, get your spoon and after about 18 minutes you started to cook the rice, try a few grains. If ready, turn off the flame, and proceed with the mantecatura; add a tablespoon of EVO oil and grated Parmiggiano Reggiano. Mix all together!

13. Plate your risotto. Tap slightly on the bottom of the dish to allow the spreading of the risotto evenly. Finally, add on top of your risotto the stir fried mushroom caps and a final touch of Parmiggiano Reggiano, and now, enjoy!!!


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