250 g Arborio, Vialone Nano or Carnaroli risotto rice
25 g butter
1 small white onion, finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/2 litre of chicken stock
200 g of porcini mushrooms, fresh or about 50 g dried
a small bunch of flat-leaved parsley
1 cupful of white wine
100 g freshly grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese
- If using dried mushrooms, soak them for at least 20 minutes in 200 ml of warm water. If the instructions on the packet say they should be soaked for less time, ignore them. Once they have reconstituted properly, chop about ½ of them into small pieces and roughly chop the rest. There’s no need to soak fresh mushrooms.
- Melt half the butter in preferably a medium sized frying pan, or saucepan, on a medium heat.
- “Sweat” the onion and garlic in the butter until the onion is translucent. Under no circumstances should the onions and garlic burn. If they do burn, throw them away and start over. Now add the rice and swirl it around in the pan until it is also coated in the butter. Leave for about 30 seconds. Again it should not even come close to burning.
- Now splash in the wine – it should fizz and steam dramatically – and wait for it to evaporate.
- Add about half the stock slowly, one ladle at a time.
- Stir the rice about every 2 minutes to release the starch and add more stock if there is the slightest chance of the rice drying out.
- After about 5 minutes of cooking add the mushrooms and their juice (or liquoras it is called). If using dried mushrooms, make sure to avoid adding the dirt that has sedimented at the bottom of the container in which they’ve dried.
- The secret of Risotto is that the rice should be cooked to a point the Italians call al dente– which means the rice should have a bit of bite left, rather than be squashy and flaccid. This takes anywhere between 15 and 20 minutes, but be sure to start testing small spoonfuls after about 15 minutes cooking.
- When you feel the rice is cooked, take it off the heat and add the chopped parsley, the remaining butter and about 2 Tbsp of the Parmesan cheese and mix it all in together. Adjust the seasoning as well. The Italians call this The Mantecatura period!
- Now let it stand for about 2 minutes and serve.
Wine in combination: