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Mushroom Risotto


Risotto is one of my favorite dishes. The creaminess of the rice and flavors of the food you are adding meld together into a wonderful, comforting dish. This one is made with mushrooms and it is outstanding. You can’t have enough!

Serves 2 for Main Course or 6 side dish servings

5 cups low-sodium or regular chicken broth
1 cup beef broth (If you want to go meatless use 6 cups of vegetable broth)
½ ounce dried porcini mushrooms
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 cups finely chopped onion
10 ounces white mushrooms, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ cups Arborio rice (or medium-grain white rice)
2/3 dry Sherry such as Fino or Amontillado.  (You can substitute dry white wine)
½ cup frozen peas, thawed   
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper

Bring the broth to a simmer in heavy, medium-size saucepan.  Add the porcini mushrooms.  Cover and set aside until the mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, remove the mushrooms and finely chop.  Keep the broth covered and warm over low heat.

Melt the butter in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onions and sauté until tender, about 8 minutes.  Add the white mushrooms, porcini mushrooms, and garlic; sauté until the mushrooms are tender and the juices evaporate, about 10 minutes.  Stir in the rice and add the white wine or sherry.  Cook until the liquid is absorbed, stirring often.  Add 1 cup of the hot broth and stir until the liquid is absorbed.  Keep adding the broth by cupfuls until all the broth is used and the mixture is creamy.  Taste the rice to make sure it is soft and cooked. If not you may have to add a little more liquid.  This process will take about 25-30 minutes.  Stir in the peas and mix in the parmesan cheese.  Season with salt and pepper.

Wine Pairing:

This dish is always great with a Pinot Noir that has some earthy tones to match the mushroom flavors.  Get the best Pinot you can afford. Try Walter Hansel, Saintsbury or Wine By Joe. An alternate wine would be a fairly full-bodied white with some intense flavors.  This dish would drown out light white wine.  I recommend you try something different such as Anselmi 2004 Capital Croce.  It is made in Italy’s Veneto district.  This one is made from 100% Garganega grapes and it’s rich creamy texture would work well.

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