Among the most popular Italian dishes, mushroom risotto is the one I crave a lot on the autumn evenings. It requires patience and constant stirring in that pan, but if cooked correctly it is so worth the 30 something minute hassle!
Autumn sings with mushrooms, so get the good ones; porcini, portobello, flat cup, or any that have the real punch of flavour and not the volumes of tastelessness. That’s the sad truth about the white cup ones looking tidy and pretty on a supermarket shelf – they really don’t cut it for me. They just lack the definition and depth required for mushroom flavour focused dishes.
So I made this beautiful, creamy, but still very fluffy, authentic, Italian style mushroom risotto with a tiny addition of truffle oil to bring the aroma of the amazing fungus out. And this is what I want to share with you today – proper mushroom risotto, cooked to gourmet, Italian standards!
There are only 3 secrets to great mushroom risotto
- Use quality ingredients. There really is no hiding with tasteless mushrooms, poor stock or rice that is not meant for cooking risotto. Fresh, instead of dry, herbs also matter a lot.
- Focus, stir frequently and don’t overcook it! Mushroom risotto, like any other risotto, needs your attention. If you neglect it for too long, you’ll burn it or create very unappetising, sticky blob. It needs to be stirred so the liquid and juices get absorbed evenly. Perfect risotto is cooked al dente, just like perfect pasta!
- Cook it fresh, with no shortcuts and serve immediately. Rice keeps absorbing the moisture, expands and never tastes the same or retains the ideal texture if reheated. If you are after a quality risotto forget about precooking it. You must cook it fresh, just before serving!
Once again, thank you, Italians for the wonderful pizza, pasta & risotto (mushroom risotto in particular 🙂 ). And that you are not shy with the garlic! You do know so many precious flavours I could simply couldn’t do without!
- 250g (1.5 cup) risotto rice - Arborio, Carnaroli or Vialone Nano
- 2 tbsp salted butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 60 g (about 5 tbsp) red onion - finely chopped
- 1 celery stick - finely chopped
- 5 garlic cloves - sliced
- 150 ml (2/3 cup) dry white wine
- 200g quality mushrooms - diced
- 600ml vegetable stock (2.5 cup)
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley - finely chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme - leaves picked only
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp fine sea-salt (or to taste)
- 2 tbsp heavy cream
- 2 tbsp Parmesan (and more for serving)
- 1 tsp truffle oil
- In a pan (cast iron is useful in this recipe), on a medium heat fry onions, garlic and celery in butter and oil until softened (about 15 min).
- Add rice, coat well in oils and juices and let it toast in the pan for a few minutes before adding wine. Let the wine evaporate almost completely - you’re after the perfume rather than the acidity at this stage.
- Lower the heat and start adding the stock ladle by ladle allowing rice to absorb it slowly. Stir your risotto often to prevent the rice from caching on the bottom of the pan and to help the starch to release.
- When you have used most of the stock add add cream, mushrooms, 1 tbsp parsley and all thyme, salt, pepper, Parmesan (optional truffle oil) and pour most of the remaining stock in. Turn the heat down and let it cook for another 10 minutes while stirring and turning the ingredients in the pan often.
- You can use the remaining stock to loosen up the risotto consistency if you feel like it needs it. You are looking for creamy, but not runny texture. Remember that even when you take the pan off the stove the rice will continue to absorb the moisture, so sprinkle the remaining parsley over and serve immediately with some extra Parmesan shavings.
If you like mushrooms my fellow blogger Hilda from Along the Grapevine picks and cooks with Puffball mushrooms – definitely worth pursuing idea!
Looking for other Italian recipes? How about this 30 min Bacon & Garlic Pasta?! Or, maybe, an absolute star of dips Aubergine, Mushroom & Garlic Dip! For even more delicious, garlic containing recipes go to Garlic Recipes in main menu above this post.