When I read Hugh Acheson’s cookbook “A New Turn in the South”, he referred to using carnaroli rice instead of arborio rice because it makes a creamier risotto. I’d never heard of carnaroli rice. Not two weeks later, I was vacationing in Florida and came across it in a little gourmet shop. Naturally, I bought some. I’ve been using it sparingly. I’m so glad I had some left to make this delicious Wild Mushroom Risotto.
I love risotto – such a wonderful comfort food. Here, I’m using the carnaroli rice and wild mushrooms for what may be the perfect comfort food – so rich and satisfying. It’s preparation involves slow constant stirring for about half an hour, but even that is comforting to me. I enjoy stirring risotto while I chat with my guests and share appetizers. A perfect example of there’s nothing like good food and good company.
You can make this dish vegetarian by simply substituting vegetable broth. It’s makes a great main course or a side. Although it’s not a make ahead dish, it’s worth it. If you have other dishes to prepare, get your guests involved, by asking them to help with the stirring.
Wild Mushroom Risotto (serves 4)
- 6 Tblsp olive oil
- 1 cup onions, small dice
- 8 oz sliced mixed wild mushrooms, wiped clean and de-stemmed
- 1 cup carnaroli or arborio rice
- ½ cup white wine
- 4 cups low sodium chicken stock
- ¼ tsp saffron
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- In a separate saucepan, heat the chicken broth to a simmer – keep warm.
- In a Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the onions. Cook until tender, 5 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms and sauté for 6 minutes.
- Add the rice and stir well to coat all the rice with the oil. Sauté for 2 minutes.
- Add the white wine and, stirring constantly, let it cook down.
- Add 2 ladles of warm stock to the rice mixture. Stir constantly until the stock is absorbed.
- Add the saffron and repeat step 6 until all the stock has been absorbed. The risotto will be thick and creamy. Total cooking/stirring time will be approximately 30 minutes. Check for seasoning.
- Remove the pan from the heat and add the cheese to the risotto. Stir until the cheese is melted and incorporated.
- Serve immediately with a little extra parmesan cheese on top