Oven-baked Porcini Risotto

by Maryam on March 18, 2010

My sister adores risotto. That way whenever my sister asks me “what’s your plan for dinner today?” my answer would be “A new risotto recipe will be good?”. Sometimes I feel like I’m bribing her to eat the new recipes I’m cooking. Quite luckily, most of them turn out to be good ,at the end, if not delicious. You may think, if your cooking skills are that good so why to bribe? isn’t the good taste a fair enough bribe? Well, if you are consuming two hours in minimum for preparing a 30 minutes or less, a good taste meal wouldn’t be enough for a hungry stomach! Even I would bribe myself with a snack before starting to cook my meal.

The story behind this recipe was a little bit different than the typical risotto bribing thing. In fact, my sister came to me and told me that she would like to eat a new risotto recipe for dinner! So I went through my cooking books and opened the risotto section in the 500 Italian recipes cookbook and asked her to select the recipe she likes to try. “I prefer a risotto with mushrooms, so I will take ….. this!” then she pointed on the oven-baked poricini risotto.

When I read the risotto recipe title, I thought how weird to bake rice! “let’s give it a chance, although the title is about baking rice and I don’t know how long it will take .. so I don’t grant anything neither the time it would be done nor the taste!” I told her. This time I was really honest with her, since she was working the whole day and of course she would come back very hungry. However, she agreed and the fun of making a new recipe began.



Oven-baked Porcini Risotto

This risotto is easy to make because you don’t have to stand over it, stirring constantly as it cooks, as you do with a traditional risotto.

Adapted from 500 Italian Recipes by Jeni Wright, serves 4.

Ingredients
1/2 cup dried porcini mushrooms, or any type of dried mushrooms or even fresh!
2 tablespoons garlic-infused olive oil, you can also use one fresh smashed garlic clove mixed with two tablespoons olive oil
1 cup risotto rice
Salt and ground black pepper

Making the risotto
1. Put the porcini mushrooms in a heatproof bowl and pour over it 3 cups of boiling water. The same step will be implemented for any type of mushroom you are using either if you are using fresh mushrooms. Leave them to soak for 30 minutes. Drain the mushrooms through a sieve lined with kitchen paper,reserving the soaking liquor. Rinse the mushrooms thoroughly under cold running water to remove any grit and dry on kitchen paper.
2. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Heat the olive oil in a large roasting pan on the hob on medium heat and add the chopped onion. Cook for 2-3minutes, or until softened but not colored.
3. Add the risotto rice and stir for 1-2 minutes, then add the reserved mushrooms and stir well. Pour in the mushroom liquor and mix thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and cover with foil.
4. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until all the stock has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Divide between warm serving plates and serve immediately.

enjoy with love,
Maryam