Risotto made with wild mushrooms is a great side dish for grilled or roasted meats, or is also wonderful used as a special first course. This recipe can be varied easily by adding some crumbled cooked sausage meat, by substituting red wine for the white wine, beef broth for the chicken broth, or by drizzling the top of the risotto with just a few drops of reduced balsamic vinegar. I am lucky enough to by able to buy packages of mixed wild mushrooms both here in the US and in Umbria, but a combination of any mushrooms including Baby Bella, Portabello, Cremini, Oyster, or Shiitake mushrooms all work well. When porcini mushrooms are in season every fall when we are in Italy, this is my ultimate favorite risotto dish. If your choice of mushrooms is limited to cultivated button mushrooms, you can improve the flavor by adding some rehydrated dried chopped porcini mushrooms, and by using beef broth instead of chicken. I made this risotto using the “almost no stir method” which is my new favorite, less labor intensive way to prepare risotto.
Deborah Mele 2012
- 2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 12 Ounces Wild Mixed Mushrooms, Finely Chopped (You May Substitute Other Mushrooms If Unavailable)
- 1/2 Cup Finely Chopped Onion
- 1 1/2 Cups Arborio Rice
- 1/2 Cup Dry White Wine
- 5 Cups Chicken Broth, Heated
- Salt & Pepper
- 1 teaspoon Chopped Fresh Thyme
- 2 Tablespoons Heavy Cream
- Grated Parmesan Cheese
- Heat the butter and oil in a heavy cast iron saucepan.
- Cook the mushrooms until golden brown, and then remove from the pan.
- Remove about 1/2 cup of mushrooms and set aside for serving.
- Add the onions to the remaining mushrooms in the pan, and cook until they are translucent.
- Add the rice and stir until it is well coated with the butte mixture.
- Add the white wine, and stir continually over medium heat until it is absorbed.
- Add 4 cups of hot broth to the pan and reduce the heat to medium low.
- Cook the rice for 16 to 18 minutes, stirring twice during this period, or until the risotto is "al dente".
- Season with salt, pepper, and thyme.
- Add an additional 1/2 cup of broth and stir constantly for about 3 to 4 minutes until creamy.
- Remove from the heat, add the cream or cheese and serve in individual bowls topped with some of the reserved mushrooms.
- Offer grated Parmesan cheese at the table.