Dried porcini mushrooms
Rice first arrived in Italy and Spain in the Middle Ages from the Arab states. The humidity of the Mediterranean climate best facilitated the growing of short grain, starchy rice; perfect for making a dish with a luscious sauce. The first ever risotto was made in Milan, containing locally grown rice and saffron. Milan was ruled by the Spanish at the time, which is why short grain rice and saffron pop up in the Spanish paella as well.
In order to make a mushroom risotto that stands out from the crowd I went for the sweetness of forestière and the intensity of dried porcini.
- 20g dried porcini mushrooms
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Half an onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 250g arborio risotto rice
- 200ml white wine
- 250g forestière mushrooms
- 500ml stock (home-made is best, Marigold Bouillon otherwise)
- Sea salt and black pepper
- 3 tbsp grated parmesan
- Pour boiling water into a mug containing the porcini mushrooms. Slice the forestière mushrooms and set aside
- Warm the oil on a medium heat, dice the onion, crush the garlic and toss them into the pan until soft
- Make up your stock and keep hot in a pan on another burner
- Add the rice and stir to coat each and every grain with oil. From this moment the risotto needs to be continuously stirred. Set the timer for 10 minutes
- Strain the porcini; add the liquid to the stock pan and the mushrooms to the risotto pan
- When the rice has absorbed the wine, ladle in the stock, only adding more as the last ladleful has been absorbed
- When your timer goes off, add the forestière shrooms. Keep stirring and adding stock. After 10 minutes test the firmness of the rice. It should be slightly al dente. Season with salt and pepper to taste
- Take off the heat, add 2 tablespoons of the parmesan and stir; keep 1 tablespoon to sprinkle on top.
Don’t stop stirring!
The end result was a powerfully shroomy flavour and a deliciously creamy texture; this is a food that is high up on my list of comfort eats!