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Dried-Porcini-Mushroom Risotto with Goat Cheese

Yield 4
Using the mushroom-soaking liquid to cook the rice gives this risotto intense flavor. There's just enough goat cheese to balance the earthiness of the porcini with a touch of tartness without overwhelming the dish.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried porcini or other dried mushrooms (about 1 ounce)
  • 3 cups hot water, more if needed
  • 3 1/2 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock, more if needed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • 2 ounces mild goat cheese, such as Montrachet, crumbled
  • Grated Parmesan, for serving

How to Make It

  1. Put the dried mushrooms in a medium bowl and pour the hot water over them. Soak until softened, about 20 minutes. Remove the mushrooms, reserving the soaking liquid, and chop them. Strain the liquid through a paper-towel-lined sieve into a medium saucepan. Add the broth to the pan and bring to a simmer.

  2. In a medium pot, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped mushrooms, the rice, and the salt and stir until the rice begins to turn opaque, about 2 minutes.

  3. Add about 1/2 cup of the simmering broth to the rice and cook, stirring frequently, until the broth has been completely absorbed. The rice and broth should bubble gently; adjust the heat as needed. Continue cooking the rice, adding broth 1/2 cup at a time and allowing the rice to absorb it before adding the next 1/2 cup. Cook the rice in this way until tender, 25 to 30 minutes in all. The broth that hasn't been absorbed should be thickened by the starch from the rice. You may not need to use all of the liquid, or you may need more broth or some water.

  4. Stir in the butter, pepper, and goat cheese. Serve the risotto with grated Parmesan.

  5. Wine Recommendation: Tuscany's chardonnays, loaded with tropical-fruit flavors and generously oaked, are not typically Italian. No matter; they have the power and concentration to make a great combination here.

Quick From Scratch Italian