my roasted mushroom, leek and thyme risotto
this recipe (like my ratatouille) is one of those dishes i cook quite frequently. i think i could easily say this is one of anders favourite meals i make him, (pretty sure he says that about most things i cook him though). but he actually said this dish made him want to marry me, ha! the recipe has taken a few turns over the years much like our relationship. i switched from brown onion to leek. i used to sauté the mushrooms in a separate pan, then i started cooking them with the pancetta, onions and garlic, but one day i pre-roasted them separately with butter and chilli flakes and it made such a huge difference and i love the way it makes the dish taste, so that’s how it has stayed. i also never used to add the fresh lemon juice at the end until one of my chef friends tasted it and suggested it would cut through the rich flavours, so i did, and it is exactly what it needed.
i get my mushrooms from the mushroom lady at the markets. she always has some awesome tips on cooking and gardening. when i first asked her what mushrooms work best for risotto, she recommended her field mushrooms. so now, every time i make it, i buy a big bag from her for $5 and they are SO good. once, i got mushrooms from coles and was legitimately shocked at the difference in taste and lack flavour. and they cost more money? so fresh/local produce really does make a difference when cooking.
the last step in the recipe is one i learnt from mum. it’s the secret i think. one of my favourite parts about risotto is sipping on the wine while i’m cooking :) i hope you enjoy it as much as anders does, and let me know about any wedding proposals after you make it!
INGREDIENTS (4 serves)
- 500g good quality field mushrooms
- 200g pancetta
- half a bunch of fresh thyme
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 leek
- 2 celery stalks
- 1 cup white wine (i use sauvignon blanc)
- butter (i love lurpak)
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 1 litre chicken stock (my favourite is massel chicken stock cubes)
- olive oil
- himalayan sea salt + black pepper
- chilli flakes
- parmesan cheese
- half a lemon
1 / preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. place cut up mushrooms on a roasting tray lined with baking paper. sprinkle with salt, pepper, olive oil, chilli flakes, fresh thyme and a few little knobs of butter. roast in the oven for about 30 minutes until mushrooms until golden. once finished, take out and set aside.
2 / add cut up pancetta (i find it easy to cut it with scissors) to a pan with a tiny bit of olive oil on medium heat until golden. about 5 minutes.
3 / add to the same pan your cut up leeks, celery and garlic with a little bit of butter. stir for another 2 minutes until leeks soften. oh the smell of garlic and leek…..
4 / now add rice and stir until it becomes a little bit translucent. about 1 minute.
5 / add wine and cook it down for another minute
6 / add roasted mushrooms, more thyme and start gradually adding stock, about a cup or so at a time, until it is absorbed by the rice. this process takes about 25 minutes. you want the rice to be cooked through and the risotto have a nice creamy texture.
7 / remove from heat, add fresh lemon, cracked pepper, parmesan and butter to the pot. stir and cover for 5 to 10 minutes to create the most creamy delicious texture and flavour (mum’s secret step).
serve with parmesan cheese, salad and a glass of wine.
bon appetite! xx
to make this recipe vegan/vegetarian skip the pancetta and butter. use veggie stock instead of chicken and nutritional yeast instead of parmesan cheese! <3