I made this risotto the night of Champaign’s third massive snowstorm. I originally thought that I had to go back to school that night because I was serving as a volunteer witness for one of my friend’s classes, but it ended up being cancelled at the last moment. I was so excited when I got the call that I literally started dancing around my kitchen.
I actually did this move, but my hip swings were not nearly as precise as Hugh Grant’s.
While it wasn’t a true snow day, it still felt like it. Besides, U of I is the absolute worst at giving snow days so I figured I’d take what I can get. It’s ridiculous how closing-averse the university is. Everything else can be closed around Champaign-Urbana, but the university will be open. My roommate told me it’s because most of the campus walks to class, so the university doesn’t worry about bad driving conditions. Which I think is stupid because, hello, not all of your students are 17 year olds who refuse to live outside of walking distance from the campus bars.
My mini-snow-day was worth it just for this risotto. I love making risotto. I find the process incredibly therapeutic. My days are usually so busy with running to class and all of my other commitments that it’s really nice to literally just sit in front of the stove and stir. I’m a grade-A stirrer after this, guys. I scraped the bottom and everything.
Despite it being a pretty active recipe, it comes together in about forty minutes. I usually wouldn’t think of risotto as a weeknight meal, but this one changed my mind. With just a bit more work and time you end up with a really nice dinner that stretches through the rest of the week. Plus, don’t forget all that therapeutic stirring. You’re basically getting dinner AND a therapy session at the same time. Multitasking at its finest.
Wild Mushroom Risotto with Peas
5 1/2 cups chicken stock
4 oz dried porcini mushrooms
10 0z white button mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 cups arrborio rice
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) of butter
2/3 cup dry white wine
2 cups onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
2/3 cup parmesan cheese
In a large soup pan, bring the broth to a simmer. Add the mushrooms and remove the pot from heat, letting it sit for five minutes.
In another large pan melt the butter. Add the onion and cook until softened, 8 minutes. Add the porcini mushrooms (taken from the broth), the white button mushrooms, and garlic and cook until soft, 10 minutes.
Next, add the rice and wine and let it cook for two minutes, stirring constantly. Ladle one cup of the mushroom broth into the pan and let it absorb. Over the next thirty minutes or so add the broth one cup at a time, stirring frequently to keep the risotto from burning. The risotto is fully cooked when it is creamy and the rice is tender. If it’s chewy – keep cooking.
Add the peas and parmesan cheese, giving it all a good stir. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Source: Giada’s Everyday Italian