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After having enticed you with wild mushroom hunting, I thought I might teach you how to make a nice Risotto ai funghi. Risotto means „cooked rice“ and it is a general name for many Italian dishes. For a perfect risotto it’s best to use Arborio or Carnaroli rice. These two varieties, grown in Italy, are short and plump and cook to a nice creamy consistency, ideal for risotto.
Now the recipe!
Ingredients (serves 4):
350 gr. Porcini mushrooms
320 gr. Arborio or Carnaroli rice
1 liter of chicken or vegetable stock
1 glass of dry white wine
1 small onion
1 clove of garlic
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Parmigiano Reggiano freshly grated (optional)
Wipe the mushrooms with a damp cloth and cut away the bottom of the stork. Slice the mushrooms (not too thinly). Finely slice the onion and the garlic. Have the stock ready at boiling temperature. In a saucepan heat two tablespoons of oil together with a knob of butter. Add the onion and garlic and cook gently (don’t let them burn). Add the mushrooms and cook them for a couple of minutes. Add the rice and stir until it’s all well mixed then pour in the wine and let it evaporate quickly. Finally add the boiling stock one ladle per time. Stir the rice often and let it absorb the stock before adding the next ladle, keeping it at a gentle boil. Season and cook for about 18 minutes. Turn the heat off, add another knob of butter and freshly grated pepper, cover and leave it to rest for 5 minutes. Serve it hot with freshly grated Parmigiano.
P.S. This is just one version. Every family will have its own variation of it, e.g. with or without the onion and/or the garlic, or sprinkle some fresh finely chopped parsley at the end.
P.P.S. If you don’t have fresh porcini, you can use ordinary mushrooms and add a handful of dried porcini. The dried porcini should be soaked in advance and then added with the mushrooms. Save the liquid that you soaked the mushrooms in and add it to the stock.