I’m in full-on risotto mode at the moment! Our weather is still very unpredictable, sunny and bright one day, lashing down with rain the next and I’m somewhat fed-up now with the winter staples of casseroles and pies. It’s time to update the old menu and give us a taste of more springtime recipes.
This is one of my favourites, full of flavour and quick and easy to put together. It does use a bit more butter than my usual method, but sometimes you just have to give in to butter!
For two people you need :
1 tb olive oil
1 clove of garlic
1 stick of celery
1oz dried porcini mushrooms
1 cup of risotto rice
2 cups of vegetable or chicken stock
8oz (approximately) mushrooms
1 clove of garlic
1oz (approximately) knob of butter
1tb finely chopped fresh parsley
Generous avalanche of parmesan or pecorino romano cheese
Begin by soaking the mushrooms in a little boiling water (1/4 cup or so). Drain (reserving the water) and chop coarsely.
As always with risotto, finely chop the shallot, garlic and celery and sweat gently in the olive oil for 5 – 10 minutes. Add the butter and then the chopped porcini mushrooms and cook for a few minutes.
Add the rice to pan and stir around in the juices, and then add the mushroom soaking water and then the stock. You could stand at the stove and add the stock bit by bit until it is absorbed or do what I do – add it all in one go and stir from time to time. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Simmer gently, stirring from time to time. You may need to add more boiling water if your rice has absorbed the stock too quickly so keep the kettle hot. Cooking time will vary depending on the type of rice you are using (Arborio, Carnaroli or Nano) but the risotto should cook somewhere between 15 to 20 minutes.
While the risotto is cooking clean and slice the mushrooms and finely chop the second clove of garlic. Melt the butter and add the garlic, then the sliced mushrooms and sauté gently until the mushrooms are cooked.
With the risotto, the consistency you are looking for is what the Italians call All’ Onda (with a wave) – it should be creamy and liquid enough so that when you draw your spoon through the pan the space fills up quickly, but it shouldn’t be sloppy. If your risotto seems at all dry simply add a little more boiling water from the kettle and stir it through until the right consistency is achieved.
When the risotto is cooked add the garlic mushrooms and chopped parsley and stir gently to combine.
This is delicious as it is, it is even better again with a very generous avalanche of good parmesan cheese!
Yes it’s calorie laden, but sometimes you just have to go with it and make up for the excess somewhere else!