Porchini (cep) Risotto

Traditionally prepared throughout autumn, I defy anyone to resist this creamy risotto. Though porchini is a fairy costly ingredient, such a small quantity is required, so well worth the splurge for one of life's little luxuries.

Category:  Midweek Express Vegetarian  - 


For 2 people


  • 300 g porchini
  • 750 ml good quality stock (vegetable or chicken)
  • 50 g butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 160 g carnaroli or arborio rice
  • 25 g butter
  • 50 g parmesan cheese, grated
  • parsley, chopped
  • and freshly ground black pepper

Porchini (cep) Risotto Directions

  1. 1. Wipe and slice the porchini mushrooms. Prepare the stock in a small saucepan, warming over a gentle heat as you begin to make the risotto.
  2. 2. Melt the butter in a heavy based saucepan and sauté the onion until soft but not coloured. Mix in the rice, thoroughly coating with the butter and onion followed by a ladle of hot stock. Gently stir until the stock has been thoroughly absorbed then repeat with another ladle-full.
  3. 3. Add the porchini and a further ladle of stock. Set the timer to 16 minutes and continue to add the hot stock, ladle-by-ladle ensuring it has been thoroughly absorbed before adding the next. At this point you need to be attentive. The rice will need about 16 minutes cooking time, but may not absorb all of the stock, so, using a teaspoon, test a little - the risotto should have a slight 'bite' (al denté) whilst being creamy and not too dry.
  4. 4. Quickly stir in the butter, Parmesan cheese and parsley. Season to taste and serve immediately on warmed plates.
  5.  The usual Italian risotto rice is either vialone, carnaroli or arborio, the difference between them quite literally the grain size, vialone at 5mm, carnaroli 6.9mm and arborio 7mm. This is a useful basic recipe that can be prepared using ordinary field mushrooms and pre-grated Parmesan although, if using porchini, it is worth using the best possible quality supporting ingredients.