For  approximately 3-4 portions, you will need:

  • 1.5 cups carnaroli rice
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • (any left over veg, optional; I had a small carrot and chopped this finely into the mixture too after I had used up 3/4 of the stock)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped parsley
  • 800ml stock / broth, which has been heated up (make your own)
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup mixed mushrooms, chopped (I used a mixture of fresh button, pioppini, oyster mushrooms as well as 1/4 cup dried porcini mushrooms which I soaked in hot water for 20 minutes – keep this water!)
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • Parmeggiano Reggiano or Grana Padano and ground pepper to taste (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons crema di funghi porcini con tartufo

1980-01-01 00.00.11The basis of making a risotto is the same for all. You need some patience but the result is well worth it. Click here for a different one that I made with prawns some time ago.

First fry the onion in olive oil until translucent. Add half the wine if the oil dries up and the onion starts to brown. When this is done add the rest of the wine and your rice, tossing immediately so that the rice is coated in the oil/wine/onion mixture.

Start adding the stock one ladle at a time and do not add more until this is absorbed. You will need to stir this often so that it does not stick or dry up too much. Also add the water that your porcini mushrooms have been soaking in, taking care to discard the sediment which will have formed during soaking time. When about 500ml of stock has been used, you may also add your mushrooms and herbs. If you’re using vegetables which take longer than mushrooms to cook, add these before (it will help to chop up in small pieces). Towards the end of cooking time add the porcini mushroom and truffle cream and stir thoroughly.

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Calculate that the total amount of time for the rice to cook is about 20-25 minutes, by which point you should have used up all the liquids. You will need to taste to check if it has cooked enough close to this time. Keep any extra broth just in case the risotto dries up when you remove from the heat and add half a ladle-full and stir well if you feel that this is necessary.

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Add the cheese of your choice and ground pepper when the rice is thoroughly cooked. Feel the comforting magic of risotto!

Carnaroli is called a ‘superfine’ risotto-type rice because of a few different qualities to arborio rice, which is what most people will use to make risotto. Chefs like to use carnaroli because it absorbs a greater amount of fluids, swelling to three times its size and making for a very creamy risotto. At the same time it is more forgiving; i.e. it takes longer for carnaroli rice to become mushy, therefore giving you a larger time window in which to realise that it is done cooking. It is more difficult to grow and harvest, thus making it more expensive to buy and will mostly be found in specialised / fine food or Italian shops. You can get some here.

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