This is a luxurious and comforting wintry dish. To serve for a dinner party, prepare steps 1-5 in advance. Spread the par-cooked rice on a baking sheet to cool quickly, and refrigerate. Continue from step 6 just before serving. To include more vegetables, cook fresh mushrooms in butter along with the dried mushrooms, or stir in a little spinach and nutmeg towards the end. A simple way to check the risotto consistency when cooked, is to draw a line across the base of the pan with a spoon. The base should show for just a second or two, before the risotto flows back to cover it.
Recipe: Truffled Mushroom Risotto
Serves 4 as part of a multi-course dinner, or 3 with no other courses
15g dried mushrooms
2 shallots or 1 onion, finely diced
150ml dry white wine (or hot water if preferred)
50g unsalted butter
250g carnaroli risotto rice
50g parmesan, finely grated
1. Rinse the dried mushrooms thoroughly in several changes of water to remove any sand or grit. Place mushrooms in a pan, and pour over 500ml boiling water. Simmer on a medium heat for 7 minutes.
2. While the mushrooms simmer, heat the oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Add the diced onion or shallots, and cook gently until translucent.
3. Lift out the mushrooms from the cooking water with a slotted spoon, and reserve the liquid, which is now mushroom stock. Cut or tear the mushrooms into bite-sized pieces.
4. Pour the mushroom stock through a fine sieve into a jug, taking care to discard any grit or sand at the bottom. Measure the stock back into a saucepan, and make up to 1l with boiling water. Set over a low heat, add 2/3 tsp of fine sea salt, and keep just below a simmer.
5. When the onion or shallots are cooked, increase heat to medium and add the rice. Stir continuously, until the rice is almost too hot to touch. Pour over the white wine, and stir until all the wine is absorbed. Reduce heat to low, add half the hot stock and leave to simmer for 10 minutes.
6. While the rice cooks, fry the mushrooms in half the butter with a pinch of salt, over a very low heat for 5 minutes. Set aside.
7. After simmering the rice for 10 minutes, add the remaining hot stock one ladle at a time, stirring continuously, until there are just a couple of ladles left in the pan and the rice is al dente. This should take about 5 minutes. The mixture will look fairly soupy – it will thicken further when you add the parmesan and leave to stand.
8. Turn off the heat. Stir through the remaining butter, mushrooms and parmesan. Cover and leave for 5 minutes.
9. Season to taste. Serve, drizzled with truffle oil.