Sunday, April 22, 2007

Recipe- Risotto con porcini e piselli

My mother and I like to talk cooking, so last night we had a long conversation about risotto. I bought two new cookbooks with gift cards that I got for my birthday, Nigella Lawson's Nigella Bites and Donna Hay's New Food Fast. Both books have recipes for risotto, and I love it but haven't had it since I ate at Bloom in Toronto last summer. My mom and her sister like to cook together, and made this recipe--which translates into risotto with porcini mushrooms and peas--last weekend when Colleen's husband and kids were out of town. My mom was raving about it, so I decided to try it myself.

Oh man, this stuff is good. The original recipe comes from Giada de Laurentiis, another one of my favourite TV chefs, but of course, I had to change some things. It is super simple, although time consuming as all risotto is. But as Nigella Lawson says over and over, half an hour of stirring, as much mindless activity is, is actually quite soothing. As I had most of the ingredients in my tiny pantry already (barring the rice and dried mushrooms), it was also fairly inexpensive. It helped that I used extra broth instead of white wine, although I would use the wine if I had a bottle around.


  • 8 cups good quality vegetable stock (I used Knorr)
  • 1/2 oz. dried porcini mushrooms (the packages from the supermarket are 1/2 oz.)
  • 1/4 c. butter
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 c. finely chopped shallot
  • 1 1/2 c. finely chopped onion
  • 10 finely chopped cremini mushrooms
  • 3 finely chopped cloves of garlic (Everything that needed to be chopped got whizzed to bits in my little hand held food processor)
  • 1 1/2 c. Arborio rice
  • 3/4 c. frozen peas, thawed
  • 2/3 c. Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Bring broth to a simmer over med. heat in a large pot. Add porcini and turn heat down very low.
  • Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add olive oil. Saute onions & shallots until soft and fragrant, about 8 minutes. Add mushrooms & garlic, as well as the dried mushrooms that you have removed from the broth and chopped, sauteeing until their liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the rice; mix well with the vegetable mixture, and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add a ladle-full of the warm stock; stir until absorbed into the rice, 2-3 minutes.
  • Continue adding the stock by ladle-fulls, making sure that each is completely absorbed and stirring constantly until adding the next (about 3 minutes).
  • The rice should absorb 6-8 cups of the stock and take about 28 minutes to finish.
  • When the rice is cooked and creamy (it will look creamy, but you will still be able to see individual grains of rice and the rice will be slightly firm to the bite), stir in the peas, cheese, and a little more butter. Taste and season as necessary. Serve.
I served this with scallops sauteed in garlic and sliced, vine-ripe tomatoes with salt & a good grinding of pepper. An excellent, easy dinner. This recipe makes a lot, so there are good leftovers for lunch tomorrow in the fridge. Or I might make arancini di riso, which are little fried risotto balls with mozzarella cheese in the middle. Yum!


JPMC said...

FYI ... if you want to tag it, the Bloom website is

Melissa said...

Thanks, hubby. Will do. :)