Sunday, October 9, 2011

Risotto With Chianti and Mushrooms

 A while back I ordered some new cookbooks, none of them were released yet. Last week they started arriving. It's fun coming home from work and finding a new treasure in the mail. This last one was the best. I got The Italian Country Table by Maxine Clark. I admit I ordered this book so I could get free shipping and a bigger discount on my order. Turns out every page has a recipe that I want to cook. I could not decide what to make first. I finally handed the book to my wife and said pick something for dinner. She selected the Risotto with red wine mushrooms and pancetta (Risotto al chianti, funghi e pancetta). The book gives the American name and then the Italian name like I wrote it. I shortened the name to make it easier for titles and tweeting. I did make a couple of changes because I did not have the exact ingredients on hand and I will explain them below.

Risotto With Chianti and Mushrooms
1/4 cup olive oil
3 oz pancetta or other smoke cured bacon, finely chopped (I used regular bacon)
1 red onion, finely chopped
7 oz cremini or porcini mushrooms, finely chopped (I used white mushrooms because I just bought a pound)
1 oz dried mushrooms, (I added this to make up for the flavor I lost by using the white mushrooms) let them soak in the chicken broth
2 1/2 cups risotto rice (I used arborio)
1 cup Chianti
6 cups hot chicken stock
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Sea Salt and Pepper to taste
For Garnish:
A couple of large mushrooms sliced
2 tbs parsley, finely chopped

Heat the chicken broth and add the dried mushrooms if using.

Heat 1/2 the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the bacon, when it starts to crisp add the onion and mushrooms. Cook until soft and translucent.

Add the rice and cook until it smells toasty, it will start becoming opaque. Add the wine and cook until it disappears.

Add 1 cup of the stock and cook until absorbed. Add another cup and cook until it is absorbed. Continue the process for about 20 minutes until you are down to 1 cup of broth, only cut back and add only 1/2 cup of broth at a time. When you are down to 1/2 cup of broth and the rice is getting tender, but has a little bit of bite to it. Add the remaining olive oil and Parmesan. Salt and Pepper to taste.

Add the remaining broth and cover pot with lid. Let it stand for 5 minutes. Put into bowls and garnish with mushroom slices and parsley.


  1. Great choice! Nothing like risotto when the weather starts to turn cool. Add some mushrooms and you have a perfect Fall meal.

  2. I agree risotto deserves the best..chianti in this case.We give it one glass and save one for us;))

  3. i love risotto! excellent blend of chianti and mushrooms!!!

  4. Beautiful and one of my favorites is with mushrooms... I love the way this look came out perfect!

  5. This looks fabulous. The chianti is a great choice. This looks like a new, favorite, cool weather, comfort food.

  6. Looks delicious! Nice recipe. My friend gave me her cookbooks but I still haven't tried the recipes yet..

  7. First time here……I love any salads..This looks really good...Following your blog straight away..If you have time Check out my blog too..

    I am having a Giveaway..

  8. That risotto is perfectly creamy! But I would expect nothing less my friend! Now, if only I had a glass of that Chianti right now!

  9. Dear Greg, Great risotto! Many happy and healthy years to your son and daughter-in-law. Congrats!

    Blessings, Catherine

  10. wonderful flavours and yummy comfort meal

  11. My first time here. Risotto looks delish.