Risotto is a sumptuous comfort food and surprisingly easy to master – it just needs a little care and love. The magic of the various risotto rice varieties is that they have high levels of starch, crucial for that all-important rich texture. It’s also super absorbent so will soak up the delicious flavours you add to it. Allow all the liquid to absorb before adding more, and stir it often – this helps to release the starch in the rice, giving you an irresistibly smooth, creamy risotto. Use the best quality stock you can, and mix in your favourite mushrooms. Get stuck in!
How to make mushroom risotto
Ingredients (serves 6)
- 1.5 litre chicken or vegetable stock
- 20g dried porcini mushrooms
- 60g butter
- 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 celery stick, finely chopped
- 400g risotto rice
- 150ml vermouth, or dry white wine
- 100g parmesan, grated, plus extra to serve
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 400g mixed mushrooms, cleaned with a soft brush, larger ones chopped
- A small bunch of thyme, leaves picked
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
- A small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
- Juice of ½ lemon
- Extra-virgin olive oil, to serve (optional)
- Heat your chosen stock in a saucepan over a medium heat and keep it on a steady simmer. Place the dried porcini mushrooms in a bowl and pour in just enough hot stock to cover them. Leave them for 5 minutes, or until they’ve softened.Melt 20g of the butter in a large risotto or sauté pan. Add the onion and celery and cook over a low–medium heat for 5–10 minutes, until softened but not coloured.
- Tip in the rice and cook, stirring, for 2–3 minutes, until the grains are all lovely and golden.
- Increase the heat to medium, then pour in the vermouth or wine. Keep stirring until it has been absorbed by the rice, then strain in the porcini soaking liquid through a fine sieve. Chop the soaked porcini and add them to the pan, then stir well to combine.
- Keep adding ladlefuls of the stock, stirring well to release the starch in the rice. Allow each addition to be absorbed before adding the next. Continue ladling the stock, stirring often, until the rice is soft but retains a slight bite. This should take about 20 minutes. You might not need all the stock, but if it has been simmering too quickly and all the liquid has evaporated, you can just top up the stock pan with a little more water.
- When the rice is almost al dente, vigorously stir in another third of the butter, parmesan, and a final ladleful of stock, then cover and allow to stand for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining butter and oil for the mushrooms in a heavy frying pan over a high heat. When the butter starts to foam, toss in the mushrooms and thyme. Cook for 2 minutes, tossing every so often, then add the garlic. Cook for a further 2 minutes, or until the mushrooms are tender and lightly golden.
- Stir through the parsley and squeeze in the lemon juice. You might need to do this in batches if your pan isn’t big enough. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Spoon the risotto onto plates and top with the pan-fried mushrooms, a little more parmesan and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, if you like.
Recipe & styling by Marina Filippelli, photography by Will Heap. Click here to save 35% on a subscription to Jamie magazine, wherever you are in the world.