I love porcini mushrooms, just the smell it’s so inviting and the taste is simply amazing, it’s like having the forest in your dish 🙂 Obviously the best is when you can have fresh porcini, but dried porcini are a very good way to preserve them and to have them all year long. And if you know how to use them you can manage to have a great flavor from them too.
It’s a recipe that requires to think about it some time in advance and not in the last minute because you have to soak the dried porcini in warm water at least a couple of hours before, but for the rest it’s not too complicated.
INGREDIENTS (4 people):
- 320-350 g of rice (I suggest Carnaroli or Vialone Nano types)
- 60 g of dried porcini mushrooms
- 1 small onion
- 1 clove of garlic
- 3-4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 50 g butter
- 1 glass of dry white wine
- one bunch of parsley
- vegetable stock
- freshly ground black pepper
- First of all you have to put the dried porcini in a bowl with warm water for about 2 hours. After this time squeeze the porcini with your hands and absolutely keep their water: this is very important because this water will add much more flavor to the recipe. But filter that water because there could be some ground on the bottom. If you would like you can cut the bigger mushrooms into smaller pieces. Prepare also the vegetable stock if you don’t have it already (with the usual onion, carrot, celery, leek, etc.).
- Cut the onion very small (in a good risotto the pieces of onion shouldn’t be larger than a grain of rice) and put it to cook in a small pan with the extra virgin olive oil, the clove of garlic and a small piece of butter, cook gently at low heat for about 10 minutes. We do it in a different pan because at the toasting temperatures of the rice we would easily burn the onion.
- Now take a pot in which you will make the risotto, heat it up at high heat and when it’s hot add the rice, with no fats. We have to toast it for 2-3 minutes, keep it moved with a wooden spoon (or simply make it “jump” by moving the pot) every 20-30 seconds and when you cannot touch the rice with your hands and you see that the grains have become a bit shiny/transparent then it’s toasted. This is the moment to add the white wine, keep the heat higher until the wine has reduced. Start counting the time from now, in 15-18 minutes a Carnaroli rice will be ready, read the package too.
- While the wine is reducing add the dried mushrooms in the pan with the onion and let it cook together for a couple of minutes.
- When the alcohol of the wine has gone start adding to the rice the vegetable stock and the filtered porcini water. The liquid has to cover the rice always, now add also the onion with the porcini (remove the clove of garlic). Keep the heat on medium/strong, the liquid has to boil well all the time.
- Keep moving regularly (but not continuously) and gently the rice, with a wooden spoon or a spatula, it must not attach on the bottom. And keep adding the hot vegetable stock and the porcini water when needed, 1-2 ladles at each time, the rice has always to stay covered with liquids. In the end I used about 1,5 liters of liquids.
- Try the rice, check if it’s salted enough, add some freshly ground black pepper at your taste and when it’s ready switch off the heat. And add the fresh parsley. Now we have to “mantecare” our risotto: add the remaining butter, let it rest covered for 1-2 minutes and then mix well (don’t add Parmigiano Reggiano because there is the risk to cover too much the flavor of the porcini, or if you really want to use it add just a little bit of it).
- Wait another couple of minutes, covered, and then serve it.
- Enjoy with a good glass of white wine 🙂