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  • Writer's pictureLydia Gerratt

Chestnut mushroom and Porcini risotto

Chestnut and Porcini mushroom risotto

My recipe featured in the Waitrose Weekend magazine;

Waitrose Weekend magazine Nov 2014

This dish induces serious contentment. The mushrooms, stock and parmesan are heaving with umami savouriness for a full hit of flavour and there is nothing like a bowl of rice for comfort. I love to eat this risotto with a simple green lettuce salad with a French dressing.

This is the recipe my youngest son (now 5 years old!) requests for dinner all the time.....he loves it so much!

Miraculous ingredients: dried porcini mushrooms, white wine, Carnaroli risotto rice, Waitrose Cooks’ Ingredients chicken stock, Parmigiano Reggiano (Parmesan)

Chestnut mushroom and Porcini risotto


25g unsalted butter

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 small brown onion finely chopped

250g chestnut mushrooms finely sliced

8 pieces of dried porcini mushrooms

½ glass of dry white wine (the same quality as you would drink)

¼ teaspoon sea salt

1.25 litres chicken stock – this must be hot (I heat up a jug of it in the microwave)

50g freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano


Place a large frying pan (with high sides) on a medium heat to start warming while you prepare the ingredients. Break up the dried porcini mushrooms into little pieces, put them in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave to soak for at least 10 minutes. The dried mushrooms will rehydrate and plump up.

Melt half of the unsalted butter in the warm pan with the olive oil and stir in the chopped onion. Leave the onion to sweat and slightly colour on the medium heat. Stir in the finely chopped chestnut mushrooms, increase the heat to high and cook for about 10 minutes so that all the water released from the mushrooms evaporates to leave a fairly dry pan and the mushrooms brown (this will add so much more flavour to the final dish).

Add the wine and simmer until it has almost evaporated. Strain the porcini mushrooms (keep the ‘soaking’ water) and stir into the pan.

Add all the rice, salt and stir well. Now start adding the hot stock to the pan in small amounts, just enough stock to cover the bottom of the pan each time, while stirring every now and again so the rice starts absorbing the liquid. As you are slowly adding all the stock also add the strained porcini mushroom ‘soaking’ water to give your risotto extra depth of flavour.

Adding all the stock and stirring the risotto will take at least 20 minutes. The rice will be cooked when the grains have plumped up to 3 times their size and they are soft to eat with a slight bite or hardness right in the middle of the grain. The texture of the risotto needs to be quite soupy at this stage, sometimes I add a little hot water if I’ve used up all the stock and it’s not soupy enough.

Turn the heat off and stir in the remaining unsalted butter (this will give the risotto a creamy flavour and a glossy shine) and as much Parmigiano Reggiano as you like. The parmesan will thicken the risotto which is why you need to cook it to be soupy so after the cheese is added it’s not too stodgy.

Preparation time 10 minutes, cooking 40 minutes, serves 4

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