Mushroom Risotto

Peter Flynn

Bowl of mushroom risotto

Risotto is one of the simplest and most versatile Italian recipes. This version uses mushrooms, but you could easily substitute asparagus (see end) or prosciutto or peas; or you can mix them or make one up yourself.

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Serves 3. Prep time: 10 minutes. Cooking time: 30 minutes.


  • 250 g chestnut mushrooms
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 50 g butter
  • 100 ml white wine
  • 500 g risotto rice
  • 1½ ℓ vegetable stock
  • 50 g parmesan | finely grated
  • 1 handful parsley


  1. Chop the mushrooms — smaller than quarters: you want pieces about half the size of a stock cube.

  2. Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the mushrooms under a lid for a few minutes until they have exuded their water and boiled it off. (see tip)

  3. Turn down the heat to half-way and continue to fry the mushrooms gently for a few minutes until they just begin to brown.

  4. While they cook, chop the onion and garlic very finely.

  5. Take the mushrooms out of the pan with a slotted spoon and keep them in a bowl until step 11.

  6. Add the butter to the pan. When it's melted, add the onion and garlic and fry gently until translucent, stirring to stop any sticking or burning.

  7. Add the wine, stir well, turn up the heat, and boil for a few minutes to evaporate most of the alcohol.

  8. Turn off the heat, add the rice, mix well, and leave for a few minutes for the grains to absorb the liquid.

  9. Turn on the heat to half-way, add about 100 ml of the stock (about half a teacup) and stir thoroughly.

  10. As the liquid boils off, add the same amount of stock, and stir. Take care not to have the heat too high, or it will stick and burn. Keep repeating this process.

  11. When there are only 2–3 measures of stock left, add in the mushrooms.

  12. Keep going until all the stock is used, by which time the rice will be cooked soft, but with a little resistance still when you chew it.

  13. Turn off the heat, add the parmesan and parsley and stir well.


  • Serve straight away (ie make sure everyone is sitting down and ready to eat).

If you use asparagus, trim the bottoms, then chop the bundle into three: the heads, the middles, and the ends. Add the ends to the rice mixture when there are four measures of stock left, add the middles whe there are three, and add the tops when there are two. This makes sure the stems are cooked evenly.

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