People seem to think that risottos are complicated and difficult to make. They really aren’t. There’s a lot of stirring involved, and it’s pretty involved cooking in that you can’t just let the risotto simmer away while you go and do something else, but it’s not difficult cooking. Mushroom risotto is my favourite kind of risotto and the pinnacle of comfort food. Now that the weather’s turned autumnal and the nights are getting cooler, it’s a perfect time to start cooking warming, starchy, cheesy food.
500 g arborio (risotto) rice
500 g mushrooms (use chestnut or brown mushrooms – anything other than white button), chopped into big chunks
150 ml dry white wine
25 g butter
125 g parmesan, grated
2 l vegetable stock
3 leeks or one small onion, chopped finely
A handful of Italian parsley
Heat the veg stock and the white wine in a pot with the lid on and keep on a low simmer while cooking your leeks and mushrooms.
Fry the leeks or onion in the butter and two tablespoons of olive oil on a low heat until golden. Add the mushrooms and cook for a few minutes before adding the rice for a minute or two. This is where the real stirring starts – add a ladleful of the stock and wine mixture and stir until it’s completely absorbed. Keep doing this until the risotto rice is cooked (no longer crunchy but has a slight bite) – this will take about 30 minutes. Turn the heat off, add the grated parmesan and stir until it’s melted in. Stir in the parsley and serve with a drizzle of balsamic and a crisp rocket salad.