Shiitake Mushroom Pumpkin Rosemary Risotto
In Northern Italy, risotto is considered a simple, everyday comfort food. For me, it’s something to prepare mostly on special occasions, or for a cozy dinner date with my better half. Among all the risotto recipes I’ve made over the years, this is probably my favorite. When pumpkin and mushroom season finally hits, I make this risotto on repeat! Any kind of mushrooms will work here; I like to use fresh shiitake mushrooms because they can be found easily at the market and vaguely remind me of delicious, hard-to-find, expensive Italian porcini mushrooms. A mix of wild and porcini mushrooms would work well too.
- 4 cups (1 L) vegetable stock
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 shallot, finely minced
- 5 ounces (150 g) shiitake or wild mushrooms, roughly chopped
- 5 ounces (150 g) muscat or Hokkaido pumpkin flesh, finely cubed
- Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- 10 1/2
ounces (300 g) vialone nano or carnaroli rice
cup (60 ml) good-quality white wine
- 3 tablespoons (15 g) grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves, finely minced
- 1 tablespoon (15 g) good-quality butter
Place the stock in a small pot, and keep it warm over a gentle heat.
Heat a small pan with the extra-virgin olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallot, mushrooms and pumpkin and sauté gently for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with sea salt and black pepper.
In the meantime, heat a large pan over low heat. Add the rice and toast it for 2 to 3 minutes, or until it has turned translucent, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon to avoid burning it. Add the wine, turn up the heat to medium-high and allow it to evaporate. Return the heat to medium-low, then pour in one ladle of stock, and allow the rice to absorb it. Season with salt to taste.
Stir the sautéed vegetables into the pan with the risotto, and continue to cook, gradually adding in stock and whisking constantly with a whisk until the rice is soft but still has a bite, about 15 minutes.
Remove the risotto from the heat, add in the Parmesan cheese, butter and rosemary, then shake the pan vigorously to combine all the ingredients. The risotto should reach a smooth consistency.
Divide the risotto among plates, and serve it immediately.
Tip: I like this risotto less creamy than the classic risotto, but if you want it super gooey and rich, add an extra pat or two of butter. If you have a hard time finding muscat pumpkin, substitute with Hokkaido pumpkin.
Reprinted with permission from 20-Minute Italian by Andrea Soranidis, Page Street Publishing Co. 2019.
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