Sunday, June 17, 2018

Recipe of the month: Mushroom and Pea Risotto

I finally made my first risotto 🙌 One more off the culinary bucket list! I really don't know what took me so long. Wait, actually I do know - risotto is the husband's forte so I've been quite content staying in the shadows whilst he dishes out plate after plate of this sublime and luxurious Italian staple. All I have to bring to the table is my appetite so you can understand the lack of initiative 😁

At home we (and by "we" I mean "he" 😝) routinely make 4 different kinds of risotto - Butternut Squash and Sage, Mushroom and Pea, Roasted Beetroot and Basil Pesto-Asparagus Risotto. I got him to guest post the Roasted Beetroot Risotto a while ago (you should check it out if you already haven't). This Mushroom and Pea Risotto is another family favourite and features frequently as a weekend special. 

I was wondering what to post next on the blog and noticed a bag of arborio rice in the pantry. We always have white wine and parmesan cheese at home and I also happened to have white button mushrooms and frozen peas so all I did was pick up a couple more varieties of mushrooms from the vegetable market. I got shiitake, enoki and King Oyster mushrooms in addition to the white button mushrooms to star in my risotto. 

I'll admit I underestimated the muscle power it required for the constant stirring of the risotto. The husband did step in to help me out. Make no mistake, you HAVE to stir to bring out the creaminess that comes from the starch generated when grains of rice rub against each other. But I'd say making risotto is not difficult to master. Getting the flavour right is fairly easy but getting the consistency right is another matter. If you add too much stock at a time and don't allow the rice to completely absorb the liquid, then you will have a runny mess. If you don't add enough liquid or you allow the rice to cook longer once the liquid is absorbed, then you will have a blob of clumpy risotto which is ugh

The risotto turned out rich, creamy and utterly delicious so I think I may just hijack the title of risotto-maker from my husband henceforth (no I'm kidding, I won't!). I think I'll let him do all the hard work and I'll just sit back and enjoy 😛

Here is the recipe folks. Note that this recipe serves two people while the Roasted Beetroot Risotto on the blog serves three Depending on how many servings you need to make, you can consult either recipe. 

Mushroom and Pea Risotto

Preparation time: 10 min; Cook time: 30 min
Total time: ~40 min
Serves: 2
Recipe category: Italian/Main Course
Recipe level: Intermediate
Recipe source: The better half! 


165gm arborio rice
750ml stock (homemade or store-bought low sodium; vegetable or chicken)
75ml white wine
60gm Parmesan cheese
2 cups sliced mushrooms of your choice (portobello, white button, shiitake, enoki and King Oyster mushrooms)
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
3 garlic pods, finely minced
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper


1. Prep all the mushrooms before starting

2. Add the wine into the stock and heat in a saucepan till simmering.

3. Melt 1 tbsp of butter in a pan, add the minced garlic and fry for 2 minutes until fragrant. Add in all the mushrooms with a sprinkling of salt and sauté until softened. Keep aside. 

4. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a pan, add the rice and stir till the rice is coated with the oil toasting it for about three to four minutes until golden.

5. Add 4 ladles of the hot stock and bring to simmer on medium heat while stirring. Let the stock get absorbed by the rice.

6. Continuously add the stock 2 ladlefuls at a time constantly stirring until the stock gets absorbed. 

7. Keep testing the doneness of the rice by tasting at regular intervals.

8. When there is 1 ladle of stock left and the rice is al dente, mix in the parmesan, sautéed mushrooms, thawed peas and remaining 1 tbsp of butter.

9. Stir continuously adding the remaining stock till the risotto is creamy. Add a splash of water if necessary.

10. Serve immediately fresh off the stove garnished with freshly ground pepper and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.  

  • Do all the prep and keep the ingredients ready before you start making the risotto
  • When selecting wine for the risotto, the general rule is - if you don't want to drink it then don't use it
  • Keep stock at a low simmer in a small pan so everything stays hot and cooks evenly
  • You could also use dried porcini mushrooms in this recipe. Place the dried mushrooms into a large bowl and pour over 1 litre boiling water. Soak for 20 mins, then drain into a bowl, squeezing the mushrooms of any liquid. Chop the mushrooms and use in recipe as directed
  • If you are using store-bought stock, always choose a low sodium option otherwise the risotto can turn out salty
  • If your risotto becomes too salty, you can try placing one of two slices of potato in it to absorb the excess salt. After that, throw the slices away
  • Serve the risotto immediately. The longer it stands, the more the starches will set and you'll lose the creamy silkiness
  • Instead of serving heaping portions of risotto in a bowl, opt for moderate scoops on a warm, shallow or flat plate; the smaller servings will allow you to eat another course after the risotto, and the heated plate will help keep the rice warm for longer


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