Red Wine Mushroom Risotto

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I love risotto, especially after learning how to make the perfect risotto thanks to The Guardian. I’ve almost got the recipe memorised. Since we had an open bottle of red wine kicking around after Easter, I decided to look up recipes for how to use it up. Risotto is usually made with white wine, but I was curious to try making some with red wine instead. Lo and behold, I found a recipe.

The following recipe is an adaptation of Eclectic Recipes’ red wine risotto made by the rules of the tried and true Guardian method. It was different and delicious. Even F., who after being put off of risotto by several mediocre restaurant experiences, said that this recipe ‘redeemed’ risotto for him. Hooray!

Red Wine Mushroom Risotto
(Adapted from Eclectic Recipes: Red Wine Mushroom Risotto)
Serves 4

  • 400g arborio rice
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • about 12 leaves fresh basil
  • 100g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 salad tomatoes, sliced
  • 100g grated Parmesan or Grana Padano cheese
  • 50g fresh spinach
  • 50g butter or 2Tbs vegetable oil
  • 1.5l good stock, chicken or vegetable
  • 100g unsalted butter, diced
  1. Preheat oven. Arrange the mushrooms and tomatoes on a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast the veg for twenty minutes or so or until finished.
  2. Meanwhile, melt the 50g of butter (or use the vegetable oil) and soften the onion in a heavy-bottomed, straight-sided pan, then add the arborio rice. Turn up the heat, and stir to coat the grains with butter.
  3. When they are hot, add a glass of red wine, and keep stirring until this has evaporated. Then you’re ready to start adding the stock, a ladleful at a time. Stir until it has nearly all been absorbed – the rice should always be sloppy, rather than dry – and then add another, and so on.
  4. Add the roast veg and spinach during this time, depending on how robust they are – usually about 10 minutes in.
  5. When the rice begins to soften (after about 13 minutes, but the only way to know is to keep checking), add the stock in smaller amounts, and test it regularly, until it is cooked to your liking. Then add 100g of diced butter, and 1000g of grated cheese, and beat in with gusto, until the risotto is rich and creamy.
  6. Add the basil leaves at this point, stirring until they just wilt. Check the seasoning, then serve immediately.
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