Risotto with Fresh Mushrooms

If you have some good fresh mushrooms, you can make a fantastic risotto using a variation of the recipe for the funghi porcini.  My friend Arty brought over some Chanterelle mushrooms, which provide a nutty, bright taste.  I combined them with a few dried porcini mushrooms to intensify the flavor.

Risotto With Chanterelle Mushrooms 1

Risotto with fresh Chanterelle Mushrooms

Many supermarkets now carry packages of “gourmet” or “chef’s choice” mushrooms, which provide exotic combinations of fresh mushrooms. They are all good in a risotto – the only mushroom you should consider carefully is the Shiitake mushroom, because its flavor is a little too strong for a risotto.

Ingredients for 4-6 people – depending on how much you eat!

  • A couple of handfuls of sliced fresh mushrooms (2-3 handfuls, depending on the number of people you are serving. 2 handfuls is enough for 4-6 people).
  • ¼ cup of dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in tepid broth for about 20 minutes (optional)
  • 1/3 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 handful of minced Italian flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 spicy pepper, such as an Italian pepperoncino from Calabria or a Thai pepper
  • Salt and freshly grated black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup of freshly grated Parmigiano cheese
  • 1 tablespoon butter (if you find truffle butter at your local market, and your guests all like the flavor of truffles,  use truffle butter instead of regular butter)
  • 3 ½ cups of risotto, Carnaroli preferred (1 box of 450 grams)
  • About 6 ½ cups of chicken broth, brought to a low boil in a medium sized saucepan (this is incorporated in the risotto).

How to Make this Recipe –critical information: DO NOT text, answer the phone, etc.  You are cooking risotto, and the risotto wants and demands your full undivided attention and “he”–the risotto—will reward you for that!

  1. If you are adding dried porcini mushrooms to the recipe, soak the dried funghi porcini in tepid/warm chicken broth for about 30 minutes.
  2. Slice the fresh mushrooms.
  3. Heat the chicken broth to a low boil in a pot. Keep the broth on a low boil or simmer throughout the recipe; the broth is incorporated into the rice one cup at a time, and it must be very hot when it is added.
  4. In a large heavy pan, add 1/3 cup olive oil and 2 cloves of smashed garlic. Sauté the garlic cloves gently until they take on a golden color.
    1. While the garlic is being sautéed, squeeze the broth from the mushrooms that have been soaking and chop them. Reserve the broth so that you can incorporate it into the risotto later.
  5. Discard the garlic and add the finely-chopped parsley and spicy pepper (chopped very fine). Allow the flavors to combine for 30 seconds to a minute on low heat. Reserve a little bit of the chopped parsley for a garnish when you serve the risotto.
  6. Add the chopped mushrooms and the chopped, reconstituted funghi porcini to the pot and stir until they are lightly cooked, for about 2 minutes.
  7. Add the risotto, bringing the heat to medium. Toast the risotto in the pan for 2 minutes, stirring so that each grain of rice is coated in the oil. The grains of rice should begin to cook—you’ll see kind of a white dot in the center of each grain, indicating that it’s read for the next step.  If you do not see well do not worry for the dot, after 2 minutes it is ready!
  8. Add 1 cup of white wine, and continue to stir until the wine has been incorporated (30 seconds or so).
  9. If you soaked the optional dried porcini mushrooms, add the broth they soaked in to the pan.  Stir the mushrooms and risotto until the broth is incorporated.
  10. Now start adding the heated broth, using a scoop or ladle to add it to the pan with the rice, 1 cup at a time. Keep stirring the risotto as it incorporates the broth.  You stir to make sure that each grain of rice is exposed to the broth and heats as it cooks.
  11. Continue adding broth, 1 cup at a time, until the risotto is ready. This usually takes about 20 – 25 minutes.  The risotto should be slightly firm – you don’t want it to get mushy. remember that it will continue to cook for a little bit after you turn the fire off, so turn off the heat 2 minutes before you think the risotto is ready.
  12. When the heat is off, the risotto is ready. Stir in the optional butter and about ½ cup of the grated Parmigiano.  If you have truffle butter, use that instead of regular butter– it adds a delicious, savory aroma that infuses the risotto.
  13. Sprinkle with the reserved chopped parsley. Put the rest of the grated Parmigiano in a small bowl so that you can serve at the table, allowing your guests to add more to their risotto if they like.  (Americans tend to use more Parmigiano on their pastas and risottos than Italians).

Wines: Barbaresco or Barolo, or Gattinara (10+ years old or older opened at least 12 hours earlier), or if you find it, try this one that I had the other day and that is outstanding Langhe Nebbiolo Cascina Luisin 2014, same grape as the other (Nebbiolo) but much less expensive, and opening it 1 hour in advance will do it)


Il risotto ai porcini richiede brodo di pollo fatto in casa, porcini veri, tanto amore e poco o niente burro.

Soffriggere aglio in olio (1/3 of cup) rimuovere aglio aggiungere prezzemolo e pepperoncino, 30 secondi, aggiungere riso -450 grammi per 4-7 persone- cuocere a fuoco medio/alto 2 minuti, aggiungere i porcini freschi, oppure se secchi rinvenuti per 10 minuti almeno o di più in un po’ di brodo e poi strizzati.

Fuoco forte 1 minuto.

Aggiungere 1 bicchiere di vino bianco, fuoco forte, 1 minuto massimo, poi il resto dell’acqua in cui avere rinvenuto i porcini –sarà circa 1 cup, e poi abbassando un po’ il fuoco a medio/alto un po’ per volta brodo di pollo –non vegetale per favore!- finchè il risotto è quasi pronto.

Spegnere il fuoco 1-2 minuti prima che è pronto–il risotto continuerà a cuocere un po’.