Ingredients Jump to Instructions ↓

  1. 30g porcini

  2. 1 litre chicken or vegetable stock

  3. 2 Tbsp olive oil

  4. 75g butter

  5. 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped

  6. 1/2 cup dry white wine

  7. 400g Italian risotto rice (arborio or carnaroli)

  8. 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus extra

  9. 3 Tbsp to finish

  10. 1/4 tsp salt, or to taste

  11. Tomato sauce

  12. 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil

  13. 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed

  14. 400g can crushed Italian tomatoes

  15. 1/4 cup small basil leaves

Instructions Jump to Ingredients ↑

  1. Porcini risottini Rinse porcini mushrooms then soak in 300ml hot water for 30 minutes. Reserving the soaking liquid, remove the mushrooms, rinse them well under running water, shake off excess water, then chop coarsely, discarding any woody bits. Strain liquid into a bowl through a sieve lined with kitchen paper, then repeat the straining process.

  2. Make the tomato sauce next. Heat oil in a smallish saucepan over a gentle heat and add garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes until lightly coloured, then pour on tomatoes. Season with a few pinches each of salt and sugar and a good grinding of black pepper. Bring to a gentle boil, lower the heat and cook gently for 20 minutes, or until thick and pulpy. Swirl in basil leaves.

  3. Bring the stock to a slow, steady simmer, then lower the heat so that it stays hot but doesn’t simmer (it would evaporate). Choose a cast-iron casserole or heavybased saucepan (3-litre capacity) and set it over a moderate heat. Drop in the olive oil and half the butter, and add the onion and garlic. Sauté until a pale golden colour, then pour in the wine and cook until it has nearly evaporated.

  4. Tip in the rice and sauté for 2 minutes, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, then stir in a ladleful of stock. This will evaporate quickly. Add a second ladleful of hot stock and stir gently but continuously until the stock has nearly evaporated. Continue cooking in this way for 10 minutes, stirring continuously to stop the rice sticking. Add the prepared porcini, then start stirring in the strained soaking liquid, continuing to add more as it becomes absorbed. When you run out of soaking liquid, use stock or water again.

  5. Continue cooking until rice is al dente and barely cooked through. Aim to finish with the rice just a little sloppy but not soupy (it will take about 18 minutes). Beat in remaining butter, ¼ cup parmesan and salt to taste (this will depend on saltiness of the stock). Spoon the risotto into 8 large buttered ramekins (250ml capacity) and press down with the back of a spoon to compact them just a little. The risottini can be prepared 1 hour ahead to this point.

  6. Have the tomato sauce ready. Loosen the risotto from the ramekins. Cover each with a plate and invert, give a little shake to loosen the risotto, then lift off the ramekin. Spoon 1-2 Tbsp tomato sauce over each and scatter with parmesan cheese. Brown under a hot grill for a few minutes until the cheese is bubbling, then serve immediately.

  7. From Taste magazine, April 2009.


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