Morel & Cremini Mushroom Risotto

Recipe: Morel & Cremini Mushroom Risotto


  • 1-ounce dried morel mushrooms
  • 1/2 pound fresh cremini mushrooms
  • 4 cups chicken stock, Swanson’s Low sodium
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 ounces pancetta, diced
  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2/3 cup freshly grated Parmigianino Reggiano cheese, plus extra for serving


Bring 2 cups of boiling water over the dried morels and set aside for thirty minutes. After 30 minutes scoop the morels from the water with a slotted spoon and make sure to reserve the morel liquid. Using a coffee filter pour the morel liquid though the filter to remove all the gritty substance from the liquid. You should have 2 cups but if not, add some water to make 2 cups. Rinse the morels with clear water and then squeeze them and place on paper towel. Cut the morels into sliced rings and set aside. The sliced mushrooms and strained liquid are not set aside separately.

Meanwhile, prepare the cremini mushrooms by removing and discarding the stems. Using a clean paper towel clean the mushrooms by rubbing any dirt off the caps but don’t be tempted to rinse them. Slice the cremini mushrooms thickly and then set aside.

In a small saucepan, bring the chicken stock with the 2 cups of reserved mushroom liquid to a simmer.

In a Dutch oven, melt the butter and sauté the small diced pancetta and the chopped shallots over medium-low heat for 5 minutes or nicely browned then add the sliced morels and cremini mushrooms and sauté until the mushrooms are nicely caramelized about 8 minutes. Next add the rice and stir to coat the grains with butter. Then add the wine and cook for 2 minutes. Next add 2 full ladles of the chicken stock mushroom liquid mixture to the rice. Now add the saffron, salt, and pepper. Stir and simmer over low heat until the liquid is absorbed, 5 to 10 minutes. Continue to add 2 ladles of the stock mixture at a time, stirring every few minutes. Each time, cook until the mixture seems a little dry before adding the next 2 ladles of the stock mixture. Continue this process until the rice is cooked through, but still al dente, about 30 minutes total. When done, the risotto should be thick and creamy and not at all dry.

Turn the heat off and then stir in the Parmigianino Reggiano cheese. Serve hot in bowls with a little extra cheese.

Meal type: dinner

My rating: 5 stars:  ★★★★★

Recipe adapted from the Barefoot Contessa

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