Risotto bianco with mushrooms

Risotto bianco with mushrooms

At Home with Ben
Mark Roper

The easiest way to cook a risotto is to first make a plain white risotto, or risotto bianco, and then wilt in the flavourings at the end. This allows you to judge the amount of other flavourings you need to add. A really simple combination would be to simply slice prosciutto over the top.

There are three types of risotto rice: vialone nano, carnaroli and arborio. The rice starts to sizzle when you cook it, a stage known as ‘the rice is singing’.

Leftover mushroom mix can be frozen and used to make another risotto or a mushroom sauce. The leftover rice can be refrigerated and turned into arancini.


Quantity Ingredient
100g butter
1/2 cup finely diced celery
1/2 cup finely diced onion
4 cups carnaroli rice
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 cup dry white wine
3l Basic chicken stock, boiling
100g parmesan, grated

Mushroom base

Quantity Ingredient
50g dried porcini mushrooms
50g butter
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped thyme
500g field mushrooms, sliced
freshly ground black pepper


  1. To prepare the mushroom base, soak the porcini mushrooms in 2 cups of boiling water for 10 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the soaking liquid. Wash the porcini under cold water and squeeze dry.
  2. Gently heat the butter in a saucepan until foaming. Add the garlic and thyme and sauté for 1 minute. Add the field mushrooms and sauté until soft and the excess moisture has cooked out. Add the porcini and ¼ cup of the mushroom soaking liquid. Simmer until the liquid has almost evaporated. Repeat until all the soaking liquid has been used. Season and set aside to cool.
  3. To prepare the risotto, melt 50 g of butter in a large heavybottomed saucepan and add the celery and onion. Gently sauté for about 10 minutes without colouring. Add the rice and garlic and stir well to combine. Sauté for 3 minutes until the rice begins to sizzle. Add the white wine and cook until the liquid has evaporated. Add enough boiling stock to just cover the rice. Stir gently over medium heat until the stock has been absorbed. Repeat this process until you have used up all the stock; it will take 15–20 minutes. The rice should be just tender but retain some bite, and be creamy and silky.
  4. Mix through enough mushroom mixture to flavour the risotto according to taste. The flavour of the rice should still be detectable. Remove from the heat and add half the parmesan and the remaining butter. Stir well, then cover and leave to rest for 5 minutes.
  5. To serve, divide the risotto between six plates and top with parmesan.
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