Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross
Serves 4 (serving size: 1 cup)

A dollop of mascarpone, a buttery-rich Italian cheese, gives this risotto its luxurious creamy consistency. Porcini mushrooms have a smooth, meaty texture when hydrated; their pungent, woodsy taste gives an extraordinary depth to this dish.

How to Make It

Step 1

Combine 2 cups boiling water and mushrooms; let stand 30 minutes or until soft. Drain through a colander over a bowl. Reserve 1 1/2 cups soaking liquid; chop mushrooms.

Step 2

Bring soaking liquid and broth to a simmer in a small saucepan (do not boil). Keep broth mixture warm over low heat.

Step 3

Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add rice, shallots, and garlic; sauté 5 minutes. Add wine, and cook until liquid evaporates (about 2 minutes).

Step 4

Add 1 cup broth mixture to rice mixture; cook over medium heat 5 minutes or until the liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add remaining broth mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently until each portion of broth mixture is absorbed before adding the next (about 25 minutes total). Add mushrooms, Parmigiano-Reggiano, chopped thyme, salt, and pepper; stir gently just until the cheese melts. Spoon 1 cup risotto into each of 4 bowls. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon mascarpone and thyme leaves, if desired.

Chef's Notes

This recipe originally ran in Cooking Light December, 2005 and was updated for the November, 2012 25th anniversary issue.

Ratings & Reviews

AshleyEvans's Review

April 23, 2013
This was amaaaazing. If you can't find mascarpone, you can probably substitute creme fraiche. My husband made this and doubled the recipe, which thrilled me, because we got to have leftovers. It was even better the next day at room temperature. He substituted half of the white wine for sherry, which definitely deepened the flavor. Make sure to use dried mushrooms (something I am always hesitant to do) because it gives it more of a mushroom flavor. This is going into the regular rotation, it's so good. Note that, though the recipe says a serving is 1 cup, it's closer to half a cup.

doresama's Review

January 25, 2013

lizzie924's Review

November 19, 2012

AJsMom's Review

December 19, 2011
Wow.....really great! I followed the recipe exactly and it came out perfect. I think a lot of the flavor comes from using the water that the dried mushrooms were reconstituted in. Don't think it would be the same with fresh mushrooms. And then the mascarpone adds a bit of heaven! I served with CL's Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Brown Butter and meritage wine.

mistyice26's Review

October 20, 2011
This risotto is absolutely FABULOUS! I made the recipe last night and did everything ALMOST as stated except that I used more beef broth than called for (I find when I make risotto I need to double the amount of liquid called for). I've made other risotto's in the past with mediocre results but this is so creamy and complex and I believe it's definitely gourmet...without all the fuss. I used my whole box of stock (32 oz.) PLUS ALL of the liquid the mushrooms were sitting in (not just 1-1/2 cups it calls to reserve). I added a little extra minced garlic and shallots but other than that didn't change anything. I can't believe this recipe tastes so good with it being "lightened" up. Don't be fooled though...there is still quite a bit of fat in this recipe. I found that 1 serving of this was MORE than enough as a side dish along side a steak and some brussel sprouts. Way to go Cooking Light!! :)

iluvmarvel's Review

September 27, 2011

JessicaLuu's Review

September 20, 2011

Kate09's Review

June 13, 2011

paige1and2's Review

April 07, 2011
What an INCREDIBLY delicious risotto! I began eating it straight out of the pot, because once I tasted it, I couldn't wait to put it on our plates. Even my husband, who dislikes mushrooms, devoured his serving. I put the mascarpone IN with the risotto and it was became heavenly and creamy! Bursting with mushroom and beef flavors! This is a WOW recipe!

magistrab's Review

February 27, 2011
This is an absolutely fabulous recipe. The risotto brought out the flavor of the porcini mushrooms and the mascarpone cheese at the end was a nice touch. This was definitely work the time it takes to make risotto!