Risotto Rice

I was going to write an ode to risotto when found a perfect description in wiki (see Basic Preparation section). Master the basics, and you will never need a recipe for any variation of risotto. There are three key points you need to know.

1. What Makes the Best Texture

Choose the right short-grain rice. The most balanced quality/price choice is Arborio rice. For the finest risotto choose the best Italian rice — Arborio or Carnaroli variety. With the right rice, constant stirring is the second step. It creates a smooth creamy-textured rice sauce for al dente rice grains.

2. What Makes the Best Flavor

The fat, wine, and liquid used during the cooking affect the final taste of risotto. With tasteless cheap vegetable oil, low-quality wine, and water, the result will be blah. My favorite fats for risotto are duck fat, bone marrow, and French butter. Match the liquid with the main flavor. Use seafood stocks for seafood risottos, chicken stock — for poultry risottos, etc. The more rich and flavorful your stock is, the better is the result, because that’s what rice grains absorb.

3. How to Vary Risotto

It takes 20 minutes to cook risotto. That’s what you need to consider when adding the ingredient that you will use to name your risotto. Ask yourself for how long it needs to be cooked, and you’ll get the answer when to add it to the rice. In some cases you need to add it to soffritto, in others — right before mantecatura.


Source: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Boletus edulis (aka penny bun, cep, porcino, or porcini) is a fungus and the type species of the genus Boletus. Prized as an ingredient in various foods, B. edulis is an edible mushroom held in high regard in many cuisines and is commonly prepared and eaten in soups, pasta, or risotto. The mushroom is low in fat and digestible carbohydrates, and high in protein, vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber. Available fresh in autumn in Central, Southern, and Northern Europe, it is most often dried, packaged and distributed worldwide. It keeps its flavor after drying, and it is then reconstituted and used in cooking. Quick freezing is another option to preserve it. Russian and Ukrainian names are belyy grib/білий гриб (“white mushroom” as opposed to less valuable “black mushrooms”) and borovik (from bor — “pine forest”). (To read more about porcini, follow the link.)

This recipe features whole frozen porcini mushrooms and Italian Superfino Arborio rice. The rice is available at Central Market.

Italian Superfino Arborio Rice
Italian Superfino Arborio Rice

The mushrooms are available at our local Astin foods store Borderless European Market (BEM). These porcini mushrooms were foraged in Lithuania and distributed by AmbeRye (AmbeRye Boletus Mushrooms, packaged 300 g / 10.58 oz). There are 600g of mushrooms on the picture below.
Whole Frozen Porcini Mushrooms
Whole Frozen Porcini Mushrooms

Now, let’s go to the kitchen!

Porcini Risotto

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: mushroom, porcini, recipe, rice, risotto
Servings: 4 portions
Calories: 397kcal


  • 1 lb porcini frozen
  • 1 cup short-grain rice Carnaroli or Arborio, 1 cup = 200g
  • 1 1/2 quart mushroom stock substitute with vegetable or chicken stock or water
  • 2 tbsp clarified butter
  • 2 tbsp onion
  • 1 tsp kosher salt adjust to taste
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper freshly ground
  • 2 tbsp Sherry wine cream (blended Sherry)
  • 6 sprigs thyme fresh
  • 2 oz Parmesan grated


  • Dice onions. Pick thyme leaves. Slowly thaw frozen porcini overnight in the refrigerator. Reserve a few slices for garnishing and dice the rest.
    Whole Frozen Porcini Mushrooms
  • In a skillet, melt 1 tbsp of clarified butter over medium heat and add mushrooms. Season them with salt and freshly ground black pepper, add 4 sprigs of thyme. With applied heat, mushrooms will release their juices and will be stewing in them for about 5-7 minutes.
    Precooking porcini
  • Meanwhile, bring the stock to simmer. Measure the rice and prepare all other ingredients for risotto. The mushrooms are done when all liquid is evaporated. Reserve garnishing slices.
    Precooked porcini
  • Place a heavy bottom sauté pan over medium-high heat. Melt 1 tbsp butter and sauté onions till fragrant. Add the rice and cook briefly until rice grains become semi-transparent. Deglaze the pan with Sherry.
    Making Porcini Risotto
  • Add the diced mushrooms and the first portion of simmering stock to cover the rice. Season with salt and pepper. Set the timer for 20 minutes.
    Making Porcini Risotto
  • Cook over medium-high heat, stirring. Add the next portion of stock when the first one is partially absorbed, partially evaporated. Stir constantly and gently.
    Making Porcini Risotto
  • Continue until 2 minutes to the end of 20 minutes period. Turn off the heat. Adjust the taste. Place sliced porcini on top of risotto to warm them up, cover with a lid and let rest a few minutes until ready to serve. Warm the plates. Prepare cheese and thyme leaves.
    Making Porcini Risotto
  • Add cheese to the risotto and stir. Serve topped with fresh thyme and reserved fried porcini slices. During the season, I like adding garlicky chives flowers as well. Buon appetito!
    Porcini Risotto


Calories: 397kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 1373mg | Potassium: 612mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 0.4g
Porcini Risotto