We decided to try making mushroom risotto, a classic Northern Italian dish at this time of year, using Angela Missoni’s recipe. For the occasion, we served it on dinnerware from our archives, the famous “Champignon” pattern by Missoni Home and Richard Ginori (2010). Above you can see the result. And below you’ll find the printable recipe.
For the sautéed porcini
400 gr fresh porcini
2 garlic cloves
chopped fresh parsley
extra virgin olive oil
Clean the mushrooms, scraping the stems and gently rubbing the caps with moist paper towels to remove any traces of soil.
The mushrooms should not be washed under running water or soaked, because they are spongy and will absorb the liquid.
Chop the mushrooms somewhat thickly, eliminating the spongy part if there is too much.
If you are not expert mushroom hunters like Rosita Missoni, when you purchase the porcini make sure they are very firm and small, in order to avoid the unpleasant surprise of finding small parasites inside. If you find some, however, don’t worry: continue slicing them and arranged the slices on paper towels. The insects will quickly leave. Rinse the slices, dry them off and proceed.
You can also use dried mushrooms, but they must be soaked in lukewarm water for an hour. In this case, put them in 150 grams of water, which can later be used with the broth for the risotto.
In a pan – non-stick is best – heat 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and two peeled whole cloves of garlic. Add the mushrooms and sauté on high for 3 to 4 minutes
Once they are browned – and this will keep them from releasing water – continue to cook them on medium for around 10-15 minutes.
When they are done, add salt to taste, pepper and the chopped parsley. Stir and then carefully spoon the porcini onto a plate to stop them from overcooking.
For the risotto
160 gr Carnaroli rice (one fistful per person, plus two “for the pot”, as the saying goes)
1/2 small white or yellow onion
about 1.2 litres of vegetable stock
1 glass of white dry wine
butter or, as an alternative, extra virgin olive oil
In a medium saucepan, bring the broth to a simmer and keep warm over low heat.
Peel, rinse and dry off the onion, and then mince it.
In a pot, brown the onion with the oil and the rice. If you opted for butter instead (like Angela does), melt 15–20 grams of butter over low heat and brown the onion in it. Then add the rice, stir well with a wooden spoon and cook for 2–3 minutes (this is referred to as "toasting" the rice).
Add the white wine, which will be absorbed immediately. At this point, start adding the stock a ladle at a time, stirring until the rice absorbs it. Continue for approximately 20 minutes.
When the rice looks almost cooked, check it for doneness (good risotto should be “al dente”, i.e., it should still be a bit hard in the middle). Turn off the burner and add about 250 grams of butter and 5 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese. Stir thoroughly and then cover the pot, leaving it aside for a minute.
Open and stir energetically to make the rice creamy. If it is too thick and dry, add some stock. Risotto should be soft and creamy.
Serve in a dish with mushrooms on top without mixing.