Hello everyone! I hope you’re well. Today, I’m here with my favourite recipe for risotto. It’s very easy, filling and makes a great meat-free dinner!
Before I start telling you about this recipe, let me confess to something.
I feel a little bit embarrassed that I haven’t tried the Italian version of risotto (understand: the creamy one) before moving to London.
Yes, I did try a risotto before that, but it would practically always be the European variety – also know as Serbian risotto.
And whilst Serbian risotto actually is super tasty and also quite simple, it looks (and tastes) very different from the Italian one. I’m planning to do a post about it too, so I will save more details for later!
Let’s get back to the Italian version.
I’ve tried it for the first time when I worked as an au pair for my first host family. Having liked how simple and delicious this meal was, I adjusted the recipe to my likings later.
Nowadays, it’s definitely one of our favourite weeknight & meat-free meals. My boyfriend who normally seeks meat in almost everything he eats, loves it!
Both wild and porcini mushrooms give it unbeatable smell and flavour.
In general, I prefer cooking with mushrooms which have color, as they usually bring stronger taste to the dish. But feel free to use any type of mushrooms that is available to you.
Remember to soak the mushrooms before cooking, they will rehydrate, become softer and will cook much faster.
I’m adding some frozen peas to add more vibrant color to the meal.
Usually, I add chicken stock to the rice, but vegetable stock works here too.
It’s good to use low-salt stock cubes, as you can always add more seasoning to the dish during cooking.
Keep the stock in a sauce pan on high heat. When it’s hot enough, it helps to cook the rice a little bit faster.
A careful reader will notice that I am skipping wine in this recipe. You can add some (100ml white) to the stock if you prefer & enjoy a glass of it with the dinner later.
If you’re vegetarian, use vegetarian cheese for grating.
Finally, this risotto is ideal for batch cooking. Leave it to cool down and store in airtight container in the fridge for up to two days, or keep in the freezer for up to two months. Always allow enough time to defrost fully before reheating.
Risotto with wild mushrooms
Ingredients for 4 servings
- 3 handfuls dried wild mushrooms (or 30g dried porcini mushrooms and 250g fresh chestnut mushrooms, sliced)
- 3 cups warm water
- 2tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1tsp dried thyme or 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 1/2 cups risotto rice (arborio)
- 1l chicken stock (hot)
- 3/4 cup frozen peas
- 1tbsp unsalted butter
- Grated Grana Padano or Parmesan cheese, for serving
- Chopped fresh parsley, for serving
- Salt, black pepper
- Soak the dried mushrooms in warm water for at least 30mins prior cooking.
- Using a large frying pan, add olive oil, bring to medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and fry for 3-4mins or until the onion turns soft and glossy.
- Drain the mushrooms, preserving the water (broth) for later.
- Add the mushrooms to the pan, season with a pinch of salt, pepper and thyme and fry for a couple of minutes.
- Add risotto rice, toss it and coat in olive oil from the pan. Fry for a minute on high heat.
- Add the mushroom broth, stir, cover, lower the heat to medium and leave to simmer until it absorbs all of the liquid.
- Add the chicken stock gradually, 1/2-1 cup at a time, stir and cover again. When the liquid is absorbed, add more. Repeat this step until the rice is almost soft.
- Toss in frozen peas, add more stock or water if necessary.
- Once the rice is cooked, stir in the butter until it melts. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.
- Serve with grated cheese and chopped parsley on top. Enjoy!
Prep time: 5mins+30mins soaking | Cook time: 35mins || Total time: 1hr 10mins