Thursday, 27 November 2014

Mushroom and Panceta Risotto

Mushroom and Panceta Risotto

This is a bombastically flavoured dish. Staple Italian peasant food. Wonderful.


20g of porcine mushrooms (soaked and chopped)
A handful of cubed panceta
A handful of finely chopped parsley
A large glass of crisp, white wine (Pinot Grigio is perfect)
3 finely chopped shallots
2 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped
100g of chestnut mushrooms roughly chopped into chunks
130g arborio rice
1 1/2 pints of vegetable or chicken stock
A handful of small garden peas
A table spoon of tomato puree
2 tea spoons of mascarpone
Olive oil
Parmesan to sprinkle

The Cooking:

If your porcine mushrooms are dried (as they usually are in this country), start by soaking them in  a bowl and setting to one side. Get started on the risotto by adding 2 tea spoons of olive oil to a pot and browning your chopped shallots and garlic over a gentle heat. Then add your mushrooms and fry for 3 or 4 minutes until the pot is fairly dry. Now add your rice, drizzle with olive oil and stir it in. Keep stirring until most of the oil has been absorbed, then add your white wine, turn up the heat and reduce down until again, pretty much all the moisture has been absorbed. Now start to add your stock about a ladle full at a time. Every time you add some stock, stir it in thoroughly and keep stirring until the moisture is nearly all absorbed. Repeat this process until your rice is full and fluffy in consistency (approximately 20 minutes). If you run out of stock, just add boiled water from the kettle.

Add the tomato puree and stir in thoroughly for a minute or two. Then add your chopped porcine mushrooms, your peas, the pancetta cubes and your mascarpone and season generously with salt and plenty of ground pepper. Stir until well combined.

Serve up with freshly chopped parsley and a sprinkle of Parmesan. Eat with the rest of the Pinot Grigio.

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