This wild mushroom risotto from Giada de Laurentiis has intense mushroom flavor, thanks to the addition of both fresh mushrooms and dried porcini, along with plenty of Parmesan cheese.
The secret to the intense mushroom flavor in this wild mushroom risotto recipe? Not only are mushrooms themselves part of the mix but the risotto is cooked with mushroom-flavored broth. See, in order to use dried porcini mushrooms—or any dried mushrooms, for that matter—you have to reconstitute them by allowing them to sit in hot water for a few minutes, absorbing some of the water and plumping up. Then the mushrooms are ready to cook with and you have all this leftover flavorful liquid. By all means, take advantage of it. Here, it works as a flavor booster to the chicken stock, but you can also use it as the base of a wonderful soup or sauce.–Giada De Laurentiis
Wild Mushroom Risotto
- 6 1/2 cups homemade chicken stock or low-sodium canned chicken broth
- 1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms* (see Note below)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 cups finely chopped onions
- 10 ounces button mushrooms finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice or medium-grain white rice
- 2/3 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup frozen peas thawed (optional)
- 2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus more for garnish
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Bring the stock to a simmer in a heavy, medium saucepan. Remove from the heat, add the porcini mushrooms, cover, and let steep until the mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove the mushrooms from the liquid and finely chop them. Cover the stock and keep warm over very low heat.
- Melt the butter in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the chopped porcini mushrooms, button mushrooms, and garlic, and saute until the mushrooms are tender and the juices evaporate, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in the rice, making certain each grain of rice is coated with butter. Add the wine and cook, stirring often, until it’s absorbed, about 2 minutes.
- Add 1 cup hot stock and simmer over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the liquid has been absorbed, about 3 minutes. Add another cup stock and continue to cook, stirring often. Repeat, taking your time and stirring frequently, until you've used about 5 3/4 to 5 cups of the stock and the rice is barely tender and the mixture is creamy, about 28 minutes. If desired, add some or all of the remaining stock to achieve your preferred consistency.
- Stir in the peas, if using. Mix in the Parmesan and season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with more Parmesan, if desired.
*What You Need To Know About Pricey Dried Porcini MushroomsThough porcini are perhaps the most flavorful of dried mushrooms, they’re also among the most expensive. The richness of this risotto makes it worth every penny you spend. Although truthfully? We suspect the recipe would also be quite lovely with just about any dried mushroom.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
The techniques for making this risotto are no different than most other risottos. As usual, it just takes some patience to add and stir the broth in several additions, but it is so worth it!
One thing that makes this risotto so tasty and special is that the mushrooms are rehydrated in the broth so that the broth is infused with earthy mushroom flavor. In other mushroom risotto recipes, you would usually use fresh mushrooms and/or dried mushrooms rehydrated in warm water. Giada’s technique definitely incorporates much more flavor.
Also, there’s fairly high ratio of mushrooms to rice, which also sets it apart from other mushroom risotto recipes. It was an excellent dish that can be served as a side dish, a main course, or an appetizer.
This is a classic risotto with a rich taste from dried and fresh mushrooms. Soaking the mushrooms only takes a few minutes but adds greatly to the flavor. It may need slightly more stock than called for (1/2 to 1 cup more) and this may take a few minutes longer to absorb.
Dry vermouth works well for the wine. The peas provide a cool visual note but don’t greatly contribute to the flavor. Use plenty of Parmesan.
Originally published March 03, 2010