The slow pace

Mushroom and Parmesan rice

As much as we love rice ( and we do love it) we don’t cook it that often since we try to eat mostly protein and vegetables and cut the carbs. But sometimes you just need a warm, comforting meal. Specially if it’s Sunday, it has been raining the whole weekend and you are just tired of seeing Instagram pictures of palm trees, lively beaches and drinks al fresco while you are wearing a fleece-lined jacket over your pajamas. I know that comparison is the thief of joy but it’s hard to believe that we live in the same hemisphere as half of the population currently wearing bikinis in social media.  Silver lining? This mushroom and Parmesan rice.

This recipe is our take on a light risotto version by Martín Berasategui, our favourite Spanish chef. He actually has 7 Michelin stars (fancy!), but he has lots of books with simple traditional recipes that are very easy to recreate. This one, for instance, gives you the illusion of eating risotto but doesn’t have as much cheese, so the result is much lighter.

To serve 2 hungry people (and have some leftovers) or 4 people that want to have a second course or dessert you will need:
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
300g mushrooms
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
One big onion, sliced
250 g white rice
750ml vegetable stock (you need it hot, so keep it warm while you prep your ingredients and start cooking)
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon cream
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped

Start by washing your mushrooms thoroughly. Tap dry with a paper towel and slice them. Heat the only pan you are going to use (great to avoid lots of washing-up!), pour two and a half tablespoons of olive oil and add the mushrooms. Stir and toss constantly because you don’t want them burnt or dry. After a few minutes pour them on a plate and set aside.

Now turn down the heat and add to that one pan the garlic and the onion. You don’t need to add more oil, don’t worry. Fry very slowly for about 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir with a wooden spoon. Now add the mushrooms and season. Beware! If the vegetable stock that you are using already contains salt, there’s no need to add extra salt here. Besides, the Parmesan is already salty. Our advice would be: don’t add extra salt to your food, but do as you please.

It’s the moment to add half of your vegetable stock. And let the real stirring begin! Let the rice cook for 8 minutes but stir, stir, stir. After those 8 minutes, pour the rest of the vegetable stock and, again, stir away for another 10 minutes. By pouring half your stock when the rice starts cooking and the other half in the middle of the process you make the rice loose the starch progressively and with the constant stirring you will get extra creamy rice, soft but with a slight bite.

Finally, remove the pan from the heat, add the Parmesan, cream, parsley and two and a half tablespoons of olive oil. Keep stirring until that all the ingredients are combined perfectly. And serve immediately!

The result is not as rich as your average risotto, but it’s creamy, comforting and delicious. In case you want to try the real deal with tons of cheese, butter and dry white wine, try this recipe of Risotto ai funghi porcini, that was one of our first recipes published on The slow pace!