I love cooking risotto I find it to be very therapeutic….It gets better every time and, as you make it, you will get to understand your rice and give it what it needs to become one of the most beautiful dishes ever.
Very important tips are: it is a must to know what kind of stock to use and for me vegetables stock is the best for vegetarian risotto. I dont advise you to use chicken stock. Your stock should always be hot, you have to keep on stirring, use the best cheese you can get your hands on, be careful with how much salt you add as both stock and parmigiano are already flavorful and last but definitely not least the ‘mantecatura’ which, roughly translated, means to whip and this is the final and vital step to get the creamiest risotto ever.
Everything about this recipe is perfect, absolutely everything…from the flavorful stock, to the sweet leeks, the earthy mushrooms and the risotto…trust me this will become one of your favorite meals!
Recipe serves 4-5 people
For the stock:
- 1 carrot, roughly chopped
- 1 potato, roughly chopped
- 1 small onion, quartered
- 1/2 a leek, roughly chopped
- 1 big laurel leaf
- A drizzle of olive oil
- 1 1/2 litre of water
- Parmigiano crust, optional
For the Risotto:
- 1 big leek, green parts discarded, white part washed and finely chopped
- 250 gr button mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
- A handful of dried porcini
- 2 cups of Arborio rice
- A couple of thyme sprigs
- 1 cup grated parmigiano
- 100 gr of butter
- A bit of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup of dry white wine
- Salt to taste
For the broth:
- Place all the ingredients in a pot over medium heat and bring it to a boil then lower the heat and let it simmer gently. The longer it cooks the more flavorful it becomes. I usually let it simmer for an hour.
For the risotto:
- In a small bowl add the porcini, cover them in hot water and set aside.
- Place a frying pan over medium heat and add the chopped mushrooms.
- Cook till they start to brown then add the butter and thyme leaves.
- Take the porcini out of the soaking water (do not throw the soaking liquid) and give them a rough chop. Add this to the mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside.
- In a deep pot, placed over medium heat, add 25 gr of butter, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and the chopped leek. Let this cook gently for around 10 minutes until the leek is tender and sweet.
- Add the rice and mix everything together well. Let the rice toast for a couple of minutes.
- Now add the wine and let it cook till absorbed by the rice.
- Add a ladle-full of hot stock. Stirring often, cook until the rice has mostly absorbed the liquid. Continue adding stock a ladle-full at a time, allowing the rice to absorb it after each addition of stock before adding more.
- Halfway through add the mushrooms and the soaking liquid. Continue stirring and adding stock until the risotto is al dente and creamy, not mushy, You might not need all the broth.
- When the rice is al dente turn off the heat, cover the pan and let the risotto rest for exactly 2 minutes.
- Now is the time for the ‘mantecatura’ : take off the cover and add the remaining butter and the parmigiano and vigorously mix them both in the risotto until the butter and cheese are completely melted and incorporated.
- Serve immediately sprinkled with extra parmigiano obviously!!