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Cover: Mamma Mia!

05Mar 12

Mushroom Risotto

Mushroom RisottoWhen I am hungry and cold, there is no better way to fill my belly and warm me up than with a steaming hot rice dish such as my mushroom risotto. I am also partial to a squash and garlic risotto. The other day, I came home from work extremely tired and ravenous. My wife took one look at my weary face and without a word, started preparing my favourite risotto.


Earthy mushrooms combined with creamy Arborio rice, the zesty citrus tang of orange zest, and the aniseed-like flavour of fennel. Her care and this risotto made my day much better.


  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dried Boletus mushrooms
  • 225g Chestnut mushrooms
  • 1 bulb of fennel, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise
  • 1 celery stick trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 1 leek, finely sliced
  • 1 medium orange
  • 600ml vegetable stock
  • 150-200g Arborio rice
  • Salt and white pepper


1 – In a small pan, soak the Boletus mushrooms for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside, covered. Prepare the fennel: trim, remove the leaves – setting them aside for later – and thinly slice the bulb.

2 – In a large pan bring the stock to the boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium sized casserole dish, add the sliced fennel bulb, Chestnut mushrooms, celery and leek, and gently fry for three or four minutes, allowing the vegetables to soften, before stirring in the mayonnaise. Allow about a minute for this to all combine over a very low heat, stirring all the while. Now add the rice, turning the heat up a little but keeping it gentle, and stir regularly as the rice cooks for another two minutes.

3 – Add the stock slowly, one ladle-full at a time, and stirring all the while. Continue this process for about 20 to 25 minutes, testing the rice towards the end. It should have a creamy texture, with the rice tender but firm.

4 – Grate the zesty rind from the orange, and then slice and extract the juice, mixing both into the rice.

5 – Add the Boletus mushrooms and mix together for about a minute or two. Season to taste with salt and a little white pepper. Serve garnished with the fennel leaves.

We sometimes add Parmesan shavings to this meal and serve with a nice crusty white loaf. A peppery white wine from the Rhone valley also goes well with this dish.

Serves 2 – approx 60 minutes:

15 minutes preparation, 45 minutes cooking.

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  1. […] Risottos are a filling and healthy food to prepare on a budget.  Chicken risotto with green peas is a refreshing blend of spring vegetables, chicken and lemon. (I also recommend this mushroom risotto.) […]

  2. […] tip: They make a great appetiser for this mushroom risotto […]

  3. […] relationship with the wooded areas where they grow (at least the wild ones). I also recommend my mushroom risotto. Delicious! (If I do say so […]


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About Gianluca Dievole

My Badge: Assistant


Buon' giorno! Welcome to my Italian food blog. I am Italian, and proud of it! Italy has so much going for it: with one foot quite literally in the beautiful Mediterranean, my country’s climate and location give us an amazing cornucopia of ingredients, which is why our culture is steeped in a hearty romantic culinary tradition. My wife and I love our food, so all my recipes are designed for two. If you're cooking for an average sized modern family - perhaps not the traditional extended Italian family - just double the quantities.