If dinner is usually deciding between having pizza or pasta, why not opt for a risotto instead? Another classic Italian dish, risotto is easy and foolproof to make. The basic recipe consisting of risotto rice, such as arborio, onion, garlic, broth, white wine, butter, and parmesan can be altered by adding an array of further ingredients like chicken, sausage, seafood and a variety of vegetables. Risottos are extremely versatile. The basic recipe can be whipped up to finish off leftovers or, using premium ingredients, be turned it into a dinner party’s culinary delight. This smooth and flavourful dish of nutty, salty Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese coupled with spicy chorizo and the rich, savoury tastes of Shitake mushrooms, the mild flavour of Chestnut mushrooms and meaty texture of Oyster mushrooms is a true delight for the senses. Whereas creamy in texture, the risotto still retains some bite to it and provokes the olfactory nerve with the most invigorating scent.
For 2-3 portions
200g Risotto rice, e.g. arborio
5 heaped tbsp. of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
15g dried Shitake mushrooms
4 mid-sized fresh Chestnut mushrooms
4 mid-sized fresh Oyster mushrooms
600ml vegetable, chicken or beef stock or broth (1 stock cube)
75g chorizo sausage, diced
100ml dry white wine, e.g. Sauvignon Blanc
Large handful of curly parsley, finely chopped
1 midsized onion
1 clove of garlic
Extra virgin olive oil to taste
Salt, pepper to taste
What you’ll need:
- Chop the Chorizo, fresh mushrooms, onion and garlic. Slowly heat the saucepan and melt the butter. Sweat the onion, mushroom, garlic and Chorizo for about 5 minutes.
- Add the uncooked rice to the saucepan and cook for 1-2 minutes. Stir several times to avoid any burning of the ingredients and rice sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add a dash of salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the white wine to the pan. Cook for another 2 minutes.
- Add stock to the rice bit by bit (pour from the measuring jug). If you are using stock cubes, boil water and dissolve 1 stock cube in 600 ml hot water. Soak the dried Shitake mushrooms in the hot stock before adding the mixture to the saucepan. Keep adding more stock once the liquid has been absorbed by the rice. Stir regularly to avoid any burning of the rice.
- Finely chop the fresh parsley and add to the pan.
- The cooking process takes about 20-25 minutes Test the softness of the rice. It should be slightly al dente.
- Finely grate the Parmigiano-Reggiano and stir into the risotto.
- Divide the mixture into 2-3 portions and serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of extra Parmesan on each plate.
(Credit to: Castelli/Parmigiano for these beautiful recipes)