Submitted by Jeremy Pietropaolo
About the cook: While I am still in school, I try to find as many opportunities to cook as possible. I cook at home and teach adult recreational cooking classes at my local Community Education program. I enjoy making complex dishes, but who said they can't be made easy!?!?
About the dish: I developed this recipe specifically for teaching cooking classes. Many people think that risotto is difficult or too complex to make, but I developed this risotto recipe to be easy, yet delicious.
National Origin: Italian
Estimated Time: 30 to 60 Minutes
¼ of a white onion (diced)
3 cups of mushroom stock (homemade or store-bought. If you can’t find it, vegetable stock will also work)
½ cup of Arborio or Carnaroli rice
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
½ cup of cheap, dry white wine
½ cup of Pecorino-Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano (can be pre-grated or you can grate it yourself).
4-6 oz of mushrooms, roughly chopped or sliced and patted dry (ideally a variety of oyster, porcini, and shiitake, but use whatever fresh mushroom you can find. If you can’t find any fresh mushrooms, rehydrate some dried mushrooms in warm water for 30 min)
2 Tablespoons of olive oil
¼ cup of chopped flat-leaf parsley
Salt and pepper (to taste)
1. Preheat a large sauté pan on medium heat. Then add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and heat for one minute more. At the same time, bring your stock to a simmer.
2. Add the diced onions and a touch of salt to the heated pan. Stir constantly to prevent browning. If the onions start to brown, turn the heat down and/or add a touch of water to the pan. Cook until the onions are almost translucent
3. While cooking the onions, heat a medium sauté pan over high heat. Then add a touch of olive oil. Heat until the oil is smoking and then add the mushrooms. Don’t stir until the mushrooms are completely browned on one side. Once these are done, set aside on a paper towel, to be used later.
4. Turn the heat of the pan with the onions back up to medium, add the arborio rice and a touch of olive oil (if needed). Stir the rice until it starts to brown a little and smell toasted.
5. Turn the heat up to medium-high and add the white wine. Stir until all the liquid is gone and the rice begins to stick to itself.
6. Bring the heat down to just below medium and add a ladle of stock. Keep stirring constantly until almost all of the liquid is gone. Then add another ladle of stock. Keep doing this until the rice is fully cooked when tasted. Also, season with salt and pepper every few ladles.
7. About halfway through the cooking process stir in the butter instead of a ladle of stock. Also, add in about half of the sautéed mushrooms here.
8. Once the rice is completely done (you will know it is done when the rice no longer has a white dot at the center of each grain and when tasted it is no longer crunchy), add in the cheese. If the risotto is too stiff, stir in another ladle of stock. If the risotto is still too thin, add a little more cheese and cook a little longer.
9. Once satisfied with the risotto, stir in the parsley and plate.
10. To plate, spoon the risotto into a bowl, top with the remaining mushrooms, parsley, and a generous sprinkle of cheese. Enjoy!