Hailing from Northern Italy, Risotto ai Funghi, or Mushroom Risotto is probably one of the best-known risotto dishes out there. Ideally made with porcini mushrooms, this gorgeous dish is surprisingly easy to make. It takes only a handful of ingredients, combined in a simple way.
Mushrooms are one of the most precious gifts that the earth gives us. There is no better way to taste them than a nice risotto with porcini mushrooms! A creamy and enveloping vegetarian first course, the perfect choice to tear applause from your guests, but also to pamper the family when the days begin to shorten.
Whatever the occasion, the Risotto ai Funghi is a recipe full of taste and imagination. It’s more than a dish, it’s an autumn fairy tale!
Fresh or dried mushrooms for your Risotto?
In Italy, Risotto ai Funghi, is mostly made with fresh porcini mushrooms in season, but porcini can be hard – and be on the expensive side. If you can’t find fresh porcini, you can simply use dried mushrooms.
The best are dried porcini. They are also not cheap but will go a long way. Be aware, that your choice of mushroom will influence the look and taste of your risotto.
Dried mushrooms make for a darker and intensely flavored risotto than fresh ones.
Risotto ai Funghi
- 300 g Risotto rice e.g. Arborio
- 50 g dried Porcini mushrooms
- 250 g sliced Chestnut mushrooms
- 175 ml White wine
- 1 finely chopped Onion or 3 shallots
- 2 Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
- 50 g freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 25 g Butter
- 1 cube Vegetable stock
- Put the dried Porcini mushrooms into a large bowl and pour over 1 liter of boiling water. Soak for 20 minutes, then drain into a bowl.
- Crumble the vegetable stock cube into the mushroom liquid, then squeeze the mushrooms gently to remove any liquid.
- Heat the olive oil in a deep frying pan or shallow saucepan over medium heat. Add finely chopped onion and fry for about 5 minutes until soft.
- Stir in the sliced chestnut mushrooms and the drained Porcini mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and continue to cook for 8 minutes until the fresh mushrooms have softened.
- Add the risotto rice into the pan and cook for 1 minute. Pour over the white wine and let it bubble away until the alcohol evaporates.
- Keep the pan over medium heat and pour in a quarter of the mushroom stock. Simmer, stirring continuously, until the rice has absorbed all of the liquid.
- Add about the same amount of stock again and continue to simmer. Stir until all the liquid is absorbed and repeat.
- Continue stirring until the rice is cooked. If the rice is still undercooked after the stock has been added, add a splash of water.
- Take the pan off the heat, add the butter and grated parmesan cheese and mix well.
- Leave for a few minutes so that the rice can soak up any excess liquid as it cools a little.
- Give the risotto a final stir, serve it up sprinkling the rest of the parmesan over the top. Enjoy!
- Traditionally, risotto is served al dente, which means with a bit of bite left in each grain. For some, this will seem to be undercooked. If so, simply add a little more stock until you get the desired consistency.
- To get the creamiest risotto possible you have to emulsify the butter and Parmegiano. Do this by mixing with a wooden spoon and firmly move the pan back and forth at the same time.
- For an even more intense aroma, try replacing parsley with catmint, also called pennyroyal!
How to warm up Risotto ai Funghi
We recommend consuming the freshly prepared risotto, alternatively, it can be kept for a day in the refrigerator. I don’t recommend freezing it.
To warm up your Risotto ai Funghi, add the cold risotto along with a splash of water to a pan and heat over medium heat. The water will make the risotto creamy again. You can also add a touch of butter at this point, but make sure not to go overboard.
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