Risotto with mushrooms is one of the best-loved Italian classics at my house, and in the restaurants as well. It is a recipe that can be easily doubled, and it’s fun to cook in front of your guests as they mingle in your kitchen. If you have time, you can add more flavor to your chicken stock by simmering the trimmings from the mushrooms and leeks in it. This is always a perfect first course for an elegant meal.
- 7 cups chicken stock (page 148)
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1½ cups thinly sliced shallots (about 4 large shallots)
- 1½ cups thinly sliced leeks, white and light-green parts (about 2 medium leeks)
- 2 cups Arborio or other short-grain rice
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 2 pounds mixed mushrooms (white, cremini, shiitake, oyster, chanterelle, etc.), thickly sliced
- ¼ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
- ½ cup grated Grana Padano
- 4 tablespoons butter, cut into bits
In a medium saucepan, heat the stock to a simmer; keep it hot. Add the olive oil to a large straight-sided skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the shallots and leeks. Cook and stir, adjusting the heat so they don’t color, until the leeks have wilted, about 5 minutes. Add the rice, and stir to coat it in the oil. Toast the rice in the oil, stirring, until the edges of the kernels become translucent, about 2 minutes.
Add the wine, bring to a simmer, and cook until the wine is absorbed, about 3 minutes. Season with the salt, and add enough hot stock just to cover the rice, about 1½ cups. Simmer gently, stirring, until almost all of the liquid is absorbed.
After the first addition of stock is absorbed, add the mushrooms and stir to incorporate. Continue adding ladlefuls of stock periodically until the rice is creamy but al dente, about 18 minutes from the time you added the wine. (You may not use all of the stock.) Stir in the parsley. Remove the skillet from the heat, and whisk in the grated cheese. Drop in the butter, and mix well until the rice is creamy and smooth. Season with salt if necessary. Serve immediately.