A simple, stress-free mushroom risotto, that requires no complicated techniques and still tastes authentic. Ready in less than 30 minutes, this is an ideal recipe for a midweek dinner.
Easy Peasy Foodie is very much a mix of new discoveries and old faithful recipes. On Tuesday I shared one of my new discoveries – my Chicken, Chorizo and Sweet Potato Traybake. Today I am sharing with you a recipe that dates back to my student days (over 15 years ago – eeek! Where did all that time go???)
I can’t remember the original recipe (though I have a feeling it involved a tin of mushroom soup – needless to say I don’t do that anymore!). However, it has since gone through so many transformations and adaptations, it probably bears little resemblance to the original recipe…but it remains most definitely a firm family favourite.
I have tried a few different versions of risotto over the years, but I just keep coming back to this one as I have never managed to make a tastier one!
Now the thing about risotto is it does have a reputation for being tricky and time-consuming. Well, here’s the good news…my version is neither!
What have I done to make life easier for myself? Well, the main thing is that I don’t have a pot of stock bubbling away on my stove from which I lovingly spoon a ladleful of stock into my risotto every few minutes – that, to me, has always just seemed far more hassle than it’s worth. I just chuck all the stock in right from the start and, do you know what? So long as you make sure you do give it a jolly good stir from time to time, there is no real difference in taste and texture from the more labour intensive version!
For me, there are two things that are important when making a risotto. Firstly, you have to use the right rice – you want risotto rice for this, such as carnaroli or arborio. No other rice will do if what you want to achieve is a creamy risotto like consistency – you really don’t want to be using long grain or basmati rice here. But the good news is risotto rice is easily available at the supermarkets these days and so there is no need to go searching in specialist stores. The second thing is the stirring. Regular stirring helps release the starches on the risotto rice and it’s those starches that give risotto that characteristic creamy texture. I don’t find it all that much hassle to give my pot the occasional stir from time to time and it really is worth it! (And for the same reason, don’t rinse risotto rice before using or you will wash all the starch off!!)
And apart from those two pretty simple requirements, this risotto is a total doddle to make – in under 30 minutes and tastes as good as any I’ve had in an Italian restaurant!
You may have noticed I don’t use any wine in this risotto – the reason is quite simple: I usually make my risotto on a weeknight and I don’t generally drink much, if at all, on weeknights – and I’m not going to open a bottle just to add one glass to my risotto! But if you want to add wine to risotto, then do, by all means – add 150ml white wine into the pan straight after you have added in the rice. Cook the rice in the wine for 1 minute and then add the stock (but reduce the quantity of stock down to 850ml).
I have also omitted adding any cream or extra butter in at the end – this is simply in an effort to reduce the calories and make it a bit healthier. I’m more than happy with the creaminess of this risotto, just as it is, and don’t feel the need for any more butter or cream, but if you feel like it, then do go ahead and add a bit of cream or butter (or both) at the end. Promise I won’t judge 😉
As I mentioned above, I usually don’t serve this with wine, as it’s more of a midweek meal for me, but occasionally I have this at the weekend and then I do have wine with it! It goes beautifully with a French Chardonnay – particularly one from the Burgundy region, or for a cheaper alternative, go for a Chardonnay from the South of France or a Chilean one.
If you like this recipe…
…you might also like:
Simple Mushroom Risotto
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic crushed, grated or finely chopped
- 4 large flat mushrooms approx. 300g, chopped roughly
- 20 g butter
- 1 litre vegetable stock or chicken stock if you don’t need this to be veggie, from a cube
- 10 g dried mushrooms
- 300 g risotto rice
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons parsley chopped
- Grated Parmesan to serve or vegetarian parmesan-style cheese, if you need this to be veggie
- Green salad to serve optional
- Fry the chopped onions in 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large wide saucepan (lid on) over a gentle heat for 5 minutes until the onions are softened but not brown. Add a clove of garlic and the butter and cook for 1 more minute. Then add the chopped mushrooms, turn up the heat a little and cook for a further 3 minutes.
- Meanwhile make up your vegetable stock using 1 vegetable stock cube and 1 litre of boiling water. Add the dried mushrooms to this mixture and stir thoroughly – set aside to allow the mushrooms to rehydrate and infuse the stock.
- When the mushrooms are ready, stir in the risotto rice and cook for 1 minute, before adding in all of the stock, together with the dried mushrooms and some salt and pepper.
- Turn the heat right down, but leave the lid off. Cook the risotto until almost all the stock has been absorbed (roughly 20 minutes). By this time the rice should be ‘al dente’ – that is, it should be mostly cooked, but with a little bit of bite. Do remember to give the risotto a good stir from time to time, while it is cooking.
- Stir in the parsley and serve sprinkled with parmesan. Add a side salad and some crusty French bread if you wish.
Want to see more Easy Peasy Vegetarian and Vegan recipes? Find more here…
Want more delicious and hassle-free midweek meals? Find more here…
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