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I first shared this Portobello risotto recipe in 2010. I remember that at the time I did it with regular Canilla or Valencia rice. The reason? I’m convinced that one has to cook with what one has in the pantry.
Today I did it again but this time I used the Carnaroli rice that my friend Patricia brought me from Italy. The rice came with a warning: it is superior to the Arborio that Italians use in their risottos.
CARNAROLI, AN EXCEPTIONAL RICE…
The truth is that it was a delight. This Carnaroli is an exceptional rice. A special reserve of the Gallo brand. Grown in the rice fields of the Po Valley, between the Alps, the Apennines and the Adriatic Sea. This is the best risotto rice money can buy.
After being matured for three months, this Carnaroli rice is stone milled. This maturing process alone with the traditional stone husking, changes the structure of the starch. The result is a less sticky grain, ideal for risottos.
AND AN EXTRAORDINARY COOKER…
But also this Portobello mushroom risotto is irresistible because of the delicious recipe I’m sharing today. This was one of those wonders that I inherited from my dear Piedad de Julio.
Piedad is an extraordinary cook. She was born and raised in the Caribbean Colombian Coast. I had the pleasure of meeting her while in Venezuela. Being a country girl, Piedad was blessed with the gift of cooking. A true modern ‘Babette‘, she makes a fête of everything.
She knows all the secrets and principles and techniques of the culinary science. She masters the art of combining textures, colors and flavors. She’s the queen of improvisation. She can make a State dinner in record time. Everything that comes out of her kitchen is a masterpiece. A cook by trade, Piedad creates and recreates masterpieces every day.
Ten years ago I had the privilege of having Piedad in my house for a week. I never had so much fun cooking and learning how to cook. Never I did experimented with so many recipes. I was bored, recovering from surgery on both my knees. Suddenly, I was sitting in my kitchen, peeling garlic and chopping onions, and taking notes on my laptop of everything Piedad did.
We exchanged tricks, substituted ingredients and even dreamed of writing a book. She was so generous that she let me copy the handwritten recipes that she treasured in a worn out notebook.
HOW TO MAKE RISOTTO WITH PORTOBELLO FUNGHI
This Portobello risotto is Piedad’s version of the classic risotto ai funghi. You can serve it as first course and also as a main course. It pairs perfectly with a merlot. There was a time when I invariably served it preceded by a plantain mousse with Gorgonzola cheese.
And now I share my video demo with the step-by-step recipe and, if you haven’t already done so, I invite you to subscribe to my YouTube channel.
- 5 tablespoons salted butter
- 1 cup onion coarsely chopped
- 4 cups of Portobello mushrooms cut into thick slices
- 1 ½ cup of Arborio or Carnaroli rice
- 2 cups of white wine
- 3-4 cups of beef broth
- Parmesan cheese I used Parmigiano Reggiano
- 2 tablespoons of parsley finely chopped
- In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat.
- Sauté the onion 4 to 5 minutes, until wilted.
- Add the mushrooms and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add the rice and cook for another 3 minutes.
- Add 1 cup of wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is almost absorbed.
- Add the rest of the wine and continue cooking and stirring until the wine is almost absorbed.
- Add the broth, one cup at a time, and continue cooking and stirring constantly. You may have to lower the heat.
- Continue cooking and stirring, until the rice is al dente, always preventing it from drying.
- Serve in bowls, with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese and sprinkle with parsley.
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