If there is a traditional fall risotto in Italy, it’s the beloved risotto ai funghi made with those exquisite porcini mushrooms. Porcini mushroom is such an elegant and filled with flavor mushroom, if you are lucky enough to get it, in whatever form possible (fresh, canned or dry), you’ll never go back to button mushroom. Porcini mushrooms are a relatively bigger kind of mushrooms with a large stem, it’s flavor resemble meat and is quite powerful. It’s the ultimate mushroom to make risotto. The only downside of this wild mushroom is its cost… it’s a quite expensive mushroom and not always easy to find but if you do… and aren’t on a budget, get the Italian in you shine.
For this particular recipe I’ve used a pack of medium size dried porcini I bought in Italy this summer. This way, you’ll have to soak the mushroom for about 20-30 minutes before use and then we’ll use the leftover water to make the risotto broth. This water might have residual sand from the mushroom in it, so once the mushroom soften, take them out and pass the leftover water through a sieve with a paper towel in it, this way you’ll get every tiny bits of sand left from the liquid out. This broth can be slightly altered while heated, by adding a laurel leaf, extra broth, wine, brandy, thyme or any aromatic you’ld like. I’ve used some extra white wine and laurel leaf to keep as much of the mushroom taste intact as possible.
To get your risotto right, you’ll have to keep the rice moving, and adding the broth little by little. This way the starch get released from the rice and helps make the risotto a nice creamy consistency. So whether you mix the risotto with a wood spoon or simply shake the pan, make sure it’s moving. To upgrade the risotto to adulthood level, add a sip of wine in the end of coccion, if no kids are around of course… Also in the final step of the dish, it’s optional of course, I’ve added a special truffle olive oil and truffle salt to compliment the porcini and give it extra flavor. Those two last ingredients aren’t necessary, just a welcomed extra.
So let’s get this Italian dish going!
Makes 3 portions / preparation 30 minutes, cooking time 25 minutes
- 200g of dried porcini mushrooms
- 750ml of warm water
- 250g Carnaroli, Arborio, or bomba rice (round grain rice)
- 1 onion (yellow) diced
- 1 garlic clove finely chopped
- 200 ml of white wine
- 100g of parmigiano reggiano
- 20g of butter
- 1 tbsp of truffle olive oil
- 1 laurel leaf
- fresh flat leaf parsley to taste
- truffle salt (or normal) and pepper
- Start by soaking the dried porcini mushrooms in 750ml of warm water for 30 minutes or until soft (if you use the dried porcini)
- Reserve the porcini water, filter it with a sieve and paper towel and add to a pot
- Add the laurel leave and half the white wine into the mushroom water and let simmer for 5 minutes
- During that time, cut the onion and garlic
- In a big pan, medium high heat, let soften the onions for 5 minutes or until soft
- Add the garlic and make a well in the center of the pan
- Add extra oil (olive oil or butter) in the center of the pan
- Add the risotto rice and mix well, medium high heat, until the grain of rice becomes translucid (about 1 minute)
- Add the other half of white wine and let the liquid get absorbed by the rice
- Than add a ladleful at the time of mushroom broth (or chicken broth), some truffle salt and pepper
- Keep the risotto in movement for about 20 minutes or until the grains are al dente
- Once done, the consistency of the risotto should be quite wet still, like a muddy rice or rice pudding
- Add the truffle olive oil (or 1 tbsp of butter), chopped flat leave parsley and the parmesan (+extra touch of white wine), mix and cover for another minute
- Check the seasonning and serve