This all started with a visit to the temptations of La Bella Italia in Petone to buy some special flour to make home made pasta. I ended up buying lots of exciting and inspiring Italian ingredients, including arborio rice and dried porcini mushrooms. I made this risotto in an ancient Le Crueset casserole which will go on the stove and in the oven to make it a ‘one-pot’ dish. It also has a tight fitting lid. This serves six to eight – leftovers will be enlivened by a few chunks of chorizo sausage.
25g dried porcini mushrooms, covered in a cup of boiling water and left to soak for 10 minutes.
1 tablespoon olive oil
Two cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
One brown onion, peeled and finely chopped
Eight large button mushrooms (about 250g)
Two cups arborio rice
One litre of good stock
Pre-heat the oven to a medium heat (180 degrees C). Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy, oven-proof casserole. Gently saute the onion and garlic. Add the fresh mushrooms and continue frying for a few more minutes until they soften and start to brown. Drain the porcini and chop roughly, reserving the liquid in which they soaked. Add the porcini and rice to the pan – stir to coat with oil. Pour over the stock and reserved porcini liquid. Bring to a simmer. Put on the lid and put it in the oven for about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to ‘rest’ in a warm place for ten minutes with the lid on. Taste and season with salt and pepper and garnish with chopped fresh herbs before serving.