I love risotto. It’s pretty labor intensive, but so worth the work.
Don’t let all of the steps scare you, it’s not difficult, just time consuming. So, some afternoon when you have a few hours, Martha Up and make risotto.
Start with some dried mixed mushrooms.. Soak about a 1/2 cup in about a cup and a half of warm water
While that’s soaking, chop the following:
1 large white onion
two or three carrots
and a celery stalk or two
Then heat a little olive oil in a dutch oven and saute the above vegetables until soft.
then chop a small leek
and add it to the vegetables in the pan
saute a few more minutes and then chop a few cloves of garlic,
add to the pan with a few springs of fresh thyme & sage, chopped and about a tablespoon of herbes de provence, along with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
now let it simmer while you just smell it, it smells wonderful….
after you’ve enjoyed the smell for a little while, add about 10 cups of water and bring to a simmer
then add the mushrooms and their soaking liquid and let the whole thing simmer while it fills your house with the most amazing aroma for about 45 minutes. Put the cover on the pan, but leave it a little ajar so steam can escape
while it’s simmering, open a nice bottle of red wine and pour yourself a glass, slip off your shoes, play a little music and pretend you’re the Barefoot Contessa, either Ina or Ava…..
when the stock has finished simmering, move it to a large bowl
isn’t that beautiful?
then soak another 1/2 cup of mushrooms in another cup or two of warm water
Heat a few tablespoons of butter in your trusty dutch oven
Add two chopped shallots and cook until they are soft – a few minutes.
Then add 1 1/2 cups aborio rice
and saute for one minute, stirring constantly.
Add the drained chopped mushrooms and 1/2 cup of red wine
simmer &; stir &; sip (wine) until the wine is absorbed
isn’t this fun?
Add two cups of mushroom stock
and simmer & stir & sip until the liquid is absorbed
Add the rest of the stock in 1/2 cup amounts, simmering; stirring; sipping until the liquid is absorbed each time
When all of the liquid is absorbed, chop some a few springs of parsley, grate about a cup of Parmesan and cut a few Tablespoons of butter
Scrape the whole thing into the Risotto
Put some in a big bowl, pour a little more wine (if you have finished off the bottle, just open another one), pop “The Barefoot Contessa” in the DVD player and settle in for a nice evening of risotto and Ava Gardner.