This risotto is made with funghi or Italian mushrooms. It might be a little difficult to find them and you should look for funghi porcini secchi, which have a delicate flavor. If you find a different variety, that's ok too. Here are the ingredients:
- 2 cups of Italian rice; carnaroli or arbório rice
- One medium onion
- 2 Tablespoons of oil
- 1 Tablespoon of butter or 5 Tablespoons of heavy cream
- 4 ounces vegetable sauce (can be canned) and 6 1/2 cups water or alternatively, 7 cups of broth
- Parmesan cheese
- Dry white wine (can be a cheap one, not too sweet)
- 100 or 200 gr of funghi porcini secchi
Funghi first. Funghi porcini have a delicate flavor, so for this recipe, you can use up to 200 grams. Other funghi have stronger flavors, so use 100 grams or at most, 150 grams. If you use too much funghi, it will hide the other flavors! Use 2 cups of pre-heated water in a bowl and add the funghi. Mix them well and leave it to sit. The funghi need to stay in the water for at least 40 minutes.
With a skimmer, remove the mushrooms without agitating the water. (Otherwise, the powder and dirt that sank to the bottom of the bowl will agitate, too.) With a ladle, gently remove the water and reserve it, leaving the dirt in the bottom! Chop the mushrooms.
Prepare other ingredients. Next, prepare the rice. This recipe is for 4-5 people, so use 2 cups of rice (use one cup if preparing for 2 people). Open the bottle of wine. Chop the onion. In a little saucepan, heat the mushroom water and in a medium saucepan, dissolve the vegetable sauce in 6 1/2 cups of water or heat 7 cups of broth at low heat.
Saute the onions. In a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil and add the onions. Saute on medium-high heat, until the onions start to turn pale yellow. Add a pinch of salt. Add the rice and mix it well (don't let it burn!) for 2-3 minutes. Add the wine until it completely covers the rice. Change the heat to medium-low and keep stirring it until the wine evaporates.
Mushroom water. Add the mushroom water and the chopped funghi. Keep stirring until the liquid is absorbed. Now add the heated broth. Never stop stirring, because it makes the risotto creamy and keeps it from burning! At this point you must taste the rice: The correct way to serve the risotto its "al dente" (when the rice is tender, but firm to the bite). It will take 15-20 minutes until the rice is done. Keep adding broth, stirring until it's absorbed, until the rice reaches the right point of firmness.
Season the risotto. Add one tablespoon of butter, and half of a cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Let it rest for 5 minutes. Another hint is that instead of seasoning the risotto with butter you can season it with heavy cream, which makes the risotto creamier, and changes the flavor!