2 C. Arborio or Carnaroli rice
9 oz. fresh mushrooms
3 tsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/4 C. chopped fresh thyme
1/2 C. roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
2 qt. chicken stock
1/3 C. butter, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
3/4 C. medium-bodied white wine
3/4 C. freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, divided
1. Prepare the mushrooms by cleaning as gently as possible. Don't wash unless it's really necessary, as they are so tender. Be sure to use a soft brush or cloth.
2. Heat the oil in a saucepan and quickly sauté mushrooms with the garlic, thyme, 1/4 cup of the parsley and the lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
3. Heat the chicken stock in a saucepan and keep warm
4. Melt half the butter in a heavy-based saucepan. Add the onion and sauté until soft.
5. Add the rice and sauté, stirring constantly, until the rice absorbs the butter and begins to look transparent.
6. Add the wine and boil until it is almost evaporated.
7. Add 2 ladles of warm stock and keep stirring.
8. Add the sautéed mushrooms and keep stirring. Reduce heat.
9. As the rice dries. Keep adding ladles of stock in small amounts until the rice is at your favorite consistency.
10. Add 1/2 cup of the grated cheese and stir in. Adjust the seasoning.
11. Serve in shallow bowls and garnish with reserved parsley. Additional grated Parmigiano-Reggiano may be served to accompany the risotto.
Once you feel confident making risotto, variations are limited only by your creativity. Red wine risotto is also a classic dish more commonly served with game birds. With red wine, use vegetable, veal or beef stock instead of chicken.