Sunday, May 22, 2011

Déjà vu mushroom risotto

Do you ever get that feeling of je ne sais quoi, where you start humming a long-lost song in your head and it comes on the radio? Or when you are doing something and get the feeling that it’s happened before (that’s déjà vu, isn’t it?).

Well, I had decided to make a porcini mushroom risotto for dinner the other day, and half an hour before I started it, I was watching Jamie Oliver on television, and he was showing how to make mushroom risotto! Spooky.

What was particularly interesting was the ‘real Italian’ method he used to cook the risotto, including putting the lid on the pan after cooking, to let the rice ‘rest’. As it turned out, the recipe I used (by Tobie Puttock), also recommends resting the rice in the same manner. Perhaps it’s a common method, but it was new to me, and therefore a bit uncanny. And maybe the lashings of butter and parmesan cheese is also traditional – I certainly hope so, because it was delicious.

By the way, I didn’t mean to post another mushroom risotto recipe so soon after the last one, but it’s just what we had for dinner recently (that was worth posting about!).

Risotto ai porcini, salvia e pancetta
Risotto of porcini mushrooms, sage and bacon

1 litre hot chicken or vegetable stock
30g dried porcini mushrooms
50g butter
1 tblsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
1 celery stick, finely sliced
8 slices flat pancetta or bacon, finely sliced
250g risotto rice
100ml dry white wine
50g grate parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper

1. Pour the stock into a saucepan and add the porcini. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. After 5 minutes, remove the porcini and coarsely chop and set aside. Leave the stock on low heat.
2. In a heavy-based pan, melt 20g butter and all the olive oil over low-medium heat. Add the onion, celery, pancetta and sage, and sweat for 5-10 minutes, stirring, until the vegetables are soft. Add the rice and cook over a low heat until it becomes translucent.
3. Add the wine to the rice mixture and stir. When the rice has almost completely evaporated, add a ladle of hot stock and stir until almost absorbed. Add the porcini mushrooms. Continue to add the stock a ladle at a time until the rice is al dente (20-25 minutes).
4. Remove the pan from the heat and add the parmesan and remaining butter. Stir well, then cover the pan and allow to rest for a minute or two. Season with salt and pepper, if needed.
5. Serve immediately with more parmesan.

Recipe adapted from Cook like an Italian by Tobie Puttock

Ingredients, including bacon/pancetta, celery, onion, stock, dried porcini mushrooms and carnaroli rice.
Forgot to show the sage.

The usual way of making risotto: Stir in the white wine until the rice becomes translucent, then add the hot stock, a ladle at a time

The sage adds a lovely flavour to the risotto. The dried porcini, sage and bacon also contribute.

This risotto turned out bellissimo!


  1. Maybe you and the lovely and endearing Mr. Oliver are just psychically linked? A veritable possibility. The more risotto the better!

  2. I should try covering the lid for a min after cooking as well. That is something new to me. Mushroom season is in full swing. No harm having more mushroom risotto.

  3. Diggin the nice touch with the sage leaf. THis beats the risotto at the restaurant the other night. Nuh-nuh-nuh-nothin on you

  4. Oh yum, that looks like it's packed with flavour! Nom nom nom.

  5. yay another ddelicious risotto from you! hmm butter and sure they make this even more mouthwatering!! i don't make risottos very often for some reasons (perhaps its coz im too lazy to cook rice over the stove top) but i think i should after reading this...

  6. lovely! i am craving risotto so I'll make it soon :)

  7. Oh no! Another one of your risottos I'm going to have to make haha!

  8. I have not make risotto from scratch, I always use the instant one but I can sure use the mushroom and all the other ingredients. Nice one.

  9. I haven't been too much of a risotto fan but this may just convert me. The tawny-red hue suggests richness but more of that bursting flavour/earthy kind, which I crave, as opposed to the overtly creamy versions. That said, extra lashings of butter and parmesan cheese isn't too much of a bad thing I suppose!

  10. Oh! This risotto looks so tasty with the mushroom and the pancetta, love the color of it. Nice pictures as well. Have a great week ahead Bel :-)

  11. as far as i'm concerned, 2 mushroom risottos are better than one. beauuuutiful color on this one! and an interesting method, i'll have to try that.

  12. I love this risotto...simple ingredients, beautiful colour..very appetizing.

  13. looks delicious belle! i love porcnini mushrooms

  14. Yum, great weather in Melbourne today for something like this. I will have to try it. I've just discovered your lovely blog via UrbanSpoon. Great photos!