I have a culinary confession to make. I’m not crazy about porcini mushrooms. Let me clarify, I’m not crazy about dried porcini mushrooms.
I had only had dishes made with dried porcini mushrooms and never imagined how exquisite a fresh porcini would taste. Experiencing the flavor of a freshly picked porcini mushroom is difficult to explain. In my opinion, the dried mushrooms have little to do with the fresh. But the chances of me finding fresh porcini here in Florida are pretty rare so I will still dream about this risotto and the pasta dishes we had in Aosta made with the mushrooms that zio Antonio found the weekend we stayed with them.
Zio Antonio’s hobby is finding mushrooms. He sneaks out of work as early as possible to go searching in the mountains. Sometimes he has some friends that come along with him. They know exactly where to go. He was explaining how they get too dry and aren’t as good certain times in the summer. I couldn’t imagine how much better they could be as these were. Some were as big as a small child’s head!
When we were getting ready to leave to go back to Teresa’s house, they packed us some mushrooms to go. They also packed us some dried porcini. These dried porcini made me become even a dried porcini lover.
This is the view from zio Antonio’s balcony in Aosta and the incredible lavender they have growing around their yard.
We make risottos every week. Even on scorching hot summer days. They are lovely filled with summer’s fresh vegetables or even just with your favorite cheese. If you happen to like porcini, it’s wonderful even with dried porcini (I make mine at home with dried porcini). Fabrizio made this at his mom’s and even threw in a zucchini from his mamma’s garden. If you are lucky enough to have a green thumb (I don’t!)and have your own fresh zucchini, be sure to add them to the recipe as it’s a great way to use your fresh summer bounty.
Risotto con i Funghi Porcini-Risotto with Porcini Mushrooms
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cups Arborio rice
1/2-ounce dried porcini broken into pieces with your hands (or fresh if you’re lucky)
1 zucchini, sliced thin
1/2 cup white wine
3 1/2 cups chicken stock, hot
1/2 pound fresh porcini cleaned and thinly sliced
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Heat the olive oil on medium heat in a large skillet; add the onion, mushrooms and zucchini and cook until the onions are translucent and soft (but not browned). Add the rice and stir with a wooden spoon about 3 minutes. Add the white wine and cook about 1-2 minutes stirring with the wooden spoon.
Add a 4 to 6-ounce ladle of stock and cook, stirring, until it is absorbed. Continue adding the stock a ladle at a time, waiting until the liquid is absorbed before adding more. Just before adding the last 4 to 6-ounces of stock add the freshly sliced porcini. Cook until the rice is tender and creamy and yet still a little al dente, about 15-20 minutes. Stir in the butter and cheese until well mixed.
Happy Monday! Hope your week starts off delicious and peaceful. xo