It that time of year when there are very few fresh mushrooms available, but after last summer your store cupboard should be swollen with dried porcini (don’t worry, you can buy them if you missed out on the bounty). This tasty risotto is one of the best ways to tap into those nutty, earthy, flavours . . .
1 Small onion
1 Clove garlic
25g Dried porcini
250g Chestnut mushrooms
250g Chicken or rabbit (optional)
250g Arborio rice
100g Grated parmesan (or strong cheddar)
1 Large glass white wine
1 Cup frozen peas (optional)
1 Small bunch of thyme
Soak the porcini is hot water for 15 minutes – drain and reserve the resulting stock while putting the mushrooms back in to soak again with fresh hot water (keep repeating this exercise throughout the cooking process). Saute the onion and garlic (with meat if using) in a little oil. Add mushrooms and rice and stir to coat with oil. Then add mushroom stock and white wine to cover (and a little water if necessary), season with salt and black pepper and stir in half the cheese and the fresh thyme. Cover tightly and cook in a warm oven (180C) for 35 – 45 minutes, stirring occasionally and topping up with mushroom stock whenever necessary. Five minutes before it is ready, stir in the frozen peas (if using). Serve garnished with remaining cheese and chopped parsley.