There's not much in the Italian idiom of flavour — or beyond — that goes together as well as mushroom, truffle, and Parmigiano-Reggiano. When incorporated in a risotto, the combintation is unfailingly sublime, as this recipe from Chef Mark McEwan proves.
Mushrooms3 cups mixed mushrooms, chanterelles, bluefoot, oysters, shiitake, cremini
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp minced rosemary
squeeze lemon juice, to taste
to taste salt and pepper
Risotto3 tbsp olive oil
1 cup minced onion
to taste salt
1 tsp minced garlic
1 1/2 cups carnaroli rice, or arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
5 cups good quality vegetable stock, at a simmer
To finish1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for garnish
2 tbsp butter
1 small white truffle , optional
to taste truffle oil, optional
1/4 cup truffle paste, optional
For the mushrooms
- Slice cleaned mushrooms about 1/4 inch (5 mm) thick. In a saute pan on medium heat, cook the mushrooms in the olive oil until they wilt. When their liquid evaporates, stir in the rosemary, deglaze the pan with lemon juice, season, and set aside.
For the risotto
- Heat 2 tbsp (30 mL) of the oil in a heavy pot over medium heat. Add the onions, salt lightly, and sweat, stirring frequently so that the onions do not brown. When after 5 to 6 minutes the onions begin to wilt, add the garlic and cook a minute longer. Add the rice and stir well to coat with the oil. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the grains of rice begin to acquire translucence. When that is achieved, deglaze with the wine.
- When the wine has been reduced to a syrup add 1/2cup (125 mL) of the hot stock. Stir again. When the liquid once again thickens add another 1/4 cup (60 mL) stock and stir again. Stir regularly, and build the seasoning gradually as you go. Continue until the rice is nearly cooked and the stock nearly finished.
- When the rice is about 5 minutes away from being done, stir in the mushrooms. Stir in the truffle paste, add the cheese and stir until heated through. Remove from heat and stir in the butter. Taste, and season with salt and white pepper.
- Serve sprinkled with Parmesan, scatter with truffle shavings (if using), and drizzle with truffle oil.
Adapted from Rustic Italian: Great Italian Recipes Made Easy for Home, by Mark McEwan with Jacob Richler.
Yield: Serves 6 as an appetizer or side dish