Risotto with porcini

Serves 4-6
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The season for wild mushrooms has passed, but porcini are still beautiful when they are dried. Their flavour is less delicate, more intense: they work beautifully in soups and risottos.

1 litre/13/4 pints vegetable or chicken stock
100g/31/2oz unsalted butter
1 yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped
600g/21oz arborio rice
300ml/10fl oz dry white wine
100g/31/2oz dried porcini
500ml/17fl oz hot water
120g/4oz Parmesan, grated
100g/31/2oz unsalted butter

Simmer the stock in a saucepan. Put the butter in a separate, low-sided pan and place over a gentle heat. Allow to melt but be careful not to brown.

Add the onion and cook until soft – about 10 minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat well with the butter.

Once the rice is well coated, turn the heat up slightly and add the wine. Allow to bubble and evaporate. Now begin adding the warm stock, ladle by ladle, allowing each to be absorbed by the rice before adding the next. Stir gently but consistently.

Place the porcini in a bowl and pour over the boiling water. Allow to soak while you finish adding the last few ladles of stock. Now add the porcini along with the hot water in which they have been soaked. Add the Parmesan and butter; stir for a minute or so.

Season with salt and pepper and place a lid on the pan. Remove from the heat and allow to sit for a few minutes before serving on warm plates.

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