Visiting us in Umbria for a week with his Japanese girlfriend, Harry took full advantage of the 3 kilos of fresh porcini mushrooms we bought on our way back from Perugia, to make an outstanding Risotto ai Funghi. Arriving during porcini season, we saw local farmers selling crates of fresh porcini and chanterelles on the side of small country roads the entire month of September, and stopped on the Strada Regionale near Pietraia that afternoon to 'seal the deal'. Plump, firm and some the size of my hand, Harry only used about half a pound of the funghi for his risotto, leaving another six pounds of the prized mushrooms for other culinary creations during their visit.
Our mushroom guy selling crates of fresh porcini mushrooms each day
on the Strada Regionale near Pietraia
Almost 7 pounds of fresh porcini mushrooms for just 65 euros
Harry creating his Risotto ai Funghi on the villa's fabulous gas stove
Gradually adding hot chicken stock about half a cup at a time, until the rice is tender and creamy and yet still a little al dente
Harry added some butter and grated pecorino at the end
Harry's outstanding Risotto ai Funghi Porcini
Garnished with a little extra grated Pienza pecorino just to "gild the lily"
Valeriana and laitue salad with a Spello olive oil and Maldon salt
A bottle of Cantina Di Negrar Ripasso Valpolicella to enjoy with our risotto
Risotto ai Funghi Porcini
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 cups Arborio or Carnaroli rice
1/2 cup white wine
4 cups hot chicken stock
1/2 pound fresh porcini cleaned and thinly sliced
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino or Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for sprinkling
In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened and translucent but not browned, about 8 to 10 minutes. Once the onions are translucent add the rice and stir with a wooden spoon until toasted and opaque, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the wine to the toasting rice, and then ladle in the stock about 1/2 cup at a time and cook, stirring, until it is absorbed. Continue adding the stock a ladle at a time, waiting until the liquid is absorbed before adding more. Just before adding the last of the stock add the freshly sliced porcini. Cook until the rice is tender and creamy and yet still a little al dente, about 15 minutes. Stir in the butter and cheese until well mixed. Divide the risotto into 4 warmed serving plates, with a bowl of additional extra cheese for guests to help themselves.