Authentic Flavours Blog
Tammy’s Mushroom Risotto
I was recently asked what my favourite Italian dish is… now this is such a hard question for me as I LOVE just about every Italian food – breads, cheeses, meats, fish/seafood and all combinations of them! Oh except for chilli, this is not for my delicate palate.
But after much consideration (which did require a few glasses of tasty vino to assist with the decision making)
I decided to choose Risotto – a marvellously tasty and very versatile dish that can have so many different flavour combinations, all of which are delicious but my all-time favourite would have to be ‘Risotto ai Funghi’ (said in my best Italian accent of course..)
Mushroom Risotto with its earthy flavours and delicate texture is a heart-warming experience one is happy to have anytime! It is on many a restaurants daily menus both here in Australia and in Italy and each one slightly different depending on the region you are in and the mushrooms available at the time but which ever version I end up having it is always impressive.
Another great thing about Risotto is if there should be any leftovers you can make the equally yummy ‘Aranccini’ (Insert drooling here)! Warm gooey Mozzarella surrounded by creamy risotto, yep left over heaven right there…
I am going to share my ‘Go To’ recipe for Mushroom Risotto – but as all good recipes go it is a guide only and is often governed by what I have on hand at the time of making it..
- 500g Arborio Rice
- 250g Mushroom (a mixture is great)
- 3 tbsps Butter
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- ½ to ¾ cup dry white wine
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable (mix this with the hot water)
- 3 cups hot water
- 1 large Brown or Red Onion (finely sliced)
- 1 clove of garlic (crushed)
- Bunch of parsley (chopped)
- Romano cheese (grated) – I prefer this to Parmesan but you can use which ever you like.
- Salt and Pepper – freshly ground is best
- Extra Butter (1 to 2 tbsps)
If you are using dried mushrooms ie porcini this is when you need to reconstitute them, to do this simply place in a bowl and add hot water to cover – leave for approximately 20 minutes.
Melt and combine the butter and oil in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium to high heat, add the onions and garlic and cook until translucent.
Now add the arborio rice and gently stir till the rice is well coated in the butter/oil/onion mix, cook for a few minutes, remember to keep stirring you don’t want it to stick to the pan (or worse burn!)
Add the white wine to the pan (love the steam cloud this produces) cook for a few minutes to allow the alcohol to evaporate – keep stirring!!
Slowly begin to ladle in the stock, 1 or 2 ladles full at a time. Keep up the gentle stirring until the stock has been absorbed into the rice and then add the next lot.
It is now time to add the next ingredient in this delicious dish – the mushrooms!!!!!
If you are using dried porcini mushrooms remove them from the hot water and add to the dish, remembering to reserve the left over water to use as extra stock (it has a wonderful flavour and shouldn’t be wasted) Add in all the other mushrooms that you have chosen to use & stir to combine well.
Alternate between ladling the stock and the reserved mushroom water in to the risotto and continue to cook until the rice has absorbed as much stock/liquid as it can.
Season to taste with Salt and Pepper then stir in the extra butter (naughty I know but it brings out such a delicious flavour)
Serve with the chopped parsley and lots of Romano cheese in pre-warmed bowl…
I am very excited about going back to Northern Italy (where this fabulous dish originates from) and sampling more of not only my favourite risotto by some more of the gastronomical delights that are on offer – If you would like to join us and share in these fabulous experiences be sure to check out our itineraries!
PS – do you remember in the ingredients that it calls for only ½ to ¾ cup of dry white wine – well we wouldn’t want the remaining part of the bottle to go to waste, soooo now is the time to pour yourself a cool crisp glass of that fabulous wine – after all you have just slaved over a hot stove to create such a beautiful dish now it’s time to relax & enjoy…