Risotto is a real go-to meal for us. I am a huge fan of Ferron rice. It is grown using ancient and traditional methods and milled using the original stone wheel near Verona, Italy, resulting in a less polished grain with the ability to absorb more flavour and produce a higher yield. It is expensive, but you can almost taste the rich Italian history, hard work and love that goes into it.

1 onion, finely diced
50g butter
100g button mushrooms, chopped
1½ cups risotto rice
2 tbsp porcini powder
1½ litres chicken or vegetable stock (I use MSG-free Vegeta)
100g shiitake mushrooms, finely sliced
1 spring onion, finely sliced
1 cup mascarpone
salt and pepper

Get the stock in a pot to heat.

Pan fry the shiitake mushrooms in a frypan with the butter. Season and set aside.

Heat a little olive oil in a risotto pot and add the button mushrooms and onion. Cook for a few minutes and add the rice and porcini powder. Stir till it starts absorbing all the goodness, approx. 2 minutes.

Stir continuously while the rice lightly cooks and becomes a little transparent, approx. 2 minutes.  Start adding the stock and stir for the first few additions while it absorbs.  Stir in the remaining stock all at once and leave to simmer for 10 minutes.

When it is still a little firm to the bite (al dente) add the mascarpone. Stir, bring back up to heat and just as it starts to simmer, pop a lid on and turn it off. It is still quite runny at this stage, but as it sits it will thicken up.

Let it sit for 10 minutes. Open the pot, add the shiitake and spring onion and check the seasoning and consistency. You may have to add a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper to reach the perfect taste and consistency.

Serve immediately topped with a little rocket, fresh shaved Parmesan and cracked pepper.


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