Autumn may be still a few weeks away, but it has already hit our kitchen. We try to include as much seasonal products as possible in our menus in order to have the best flavors, so we were quite excited to use the first mushrooms of the season. Yesterday we prepared an amazing risotto ai funghi. The recipe is quite simple and admits lots of variations so we can’t recommend it enough!
You will need:
1 liter vegetable or chicken stock
1 large onion
3 cloves of garlic
5 sticks of celery
400 gr rice
A glass of dry white wine
120 gr. grated Parmesan cheese
50 gr. funghi porcini secchi
A little bit of fresh parsley
I have to warn you: use the best mushrooms and Parmesan cheese that you can find. The other ingredients are simple so they are the real stars of the recipe. They better be good! We use the funghi porcini secchi that we bought in Bassano del Grappa a couple of weeks ago. I prefer dried mushrooms because their flavour is extremely powerful, that’s why you just need a handful of them.
First put your funghi in a bowl with water and leave them there for an hour. In the meantime heat the stock. Now put two spoons of olive oil and a knob of butter into a pan. When the oil is hot and the butter melted, add the onion (chopped), 2 cloves of garlic (chopped) and the celery (again, chopped). Cook very slowly for 15 minutes. When everything is soft and translucent add the rice and turn up the heat. And stir. Stirring is basically the secret to a great risotto! The rice will look translucent in a couple of minutes, so add the glass of wine and keep on stirring.
Once the wine has cooked into the rice, add the first ladle of hot stock and a little bit of salt. Remember that the cheese you will add later is already salty! Turn the heat down and keep adding ladlefuls of stock. And stir, stir, stir. Stock – stir – stock – stir… until the rice is soft.
While doing that you should ask someone for help because you can’t stop stirring, remember? I asked P. to strain the funghi and chop the parsley and the remaining clove of garlic. Then she put a spoon of olive oil into a pan, added the garlic and when it was a little bit golden and soft, she added the funghi and the parsley. And let it cook slowly.
Finally remove the rice from the heat and add about 70 gr. of butter, the Parmesan, the funghi and… stir. Yes, again. Put a lid on the pan and let it sit for a couple of minutes.
You should eat it as soon as possible because otherwise it will loose the beautiful creamy texture. Then pour yorseld a glass of white wine and enjoy!