I remember the first time I ate Risotto. I had no idea what it was when I saw the name on the lunch menu in the school cafeteria. The kitchen staff had mixed boiled rice with some peas, sweet corn, bell pepper, ham, and called it Risotto. They explained to us kids that it was an Italien delicacy. None of us could understand why. It didn’t taste bad, but it was nothing to be impressed about.
I suppose we should have been suspicious when they served the same dish the following week. But now it had suddenly changed the name to Nasi Goreng. The only difference was that they had added some curry powder.
It took many years before I realized that real Risotto actually doesn’t taste like that. It was not until I read a recipe for Risotto in an Italian cookbook that I began to understand how cheated I had been in school. The recipe contained rice, shallot, chicken stock, white wine, and lots of parmesan cheese. You only had to read that ingredient list to realize that Risotto was something glorious.
This is my recipe for a Risotto ai Funghi Porcini. It’s very close to a traditional recipe from an Italien cookbook. The main difference is that I have used chicken broth instead of meat broth. Sometimes it can be hard to find real Porcini (or Penny bun). If so, you can use white mushrooms or Portabello. This year we have been blessed with lots of Porcini were I live. But I decided to mix the Porcini with white mushrooms, just to see how it tasted. It still tasted heavenly, so don’t let it stop you if you can’t find any Porcini. It’s still worth the effort, I promise.