Risotto with Fresh Tomatoes, Peas, and Porcini

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Serves

    4

Appears in

Hazan Family Favorites

Hazan Family Favorites

By Giuliano Hazan

Published 2012

  • About

We always bring dried porcini back home from Italy. Their quality is much better than what we usually find in the States, and they easily keep for a year. Often I’ll make a risotto using only dried porcini. When I had some fresh tomatoes and peas on hand, it occurred to me that they would go very well with the woodsy flavor of dried porcini, and we were not disappointed — the experiment has now become a family favorite.

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • pounds fresh peas in the pod, or 10 ounces frozen peas
  • ½ medium yellow onion
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pound fresh tomatoes
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • cups rice for risotto (Carnaroli, Violone Nano, or Arborio)

Method

  1. Put the dried porcini in a bowl, cover with water, and soak for at least 15 minutes.
  2. Shell the peas if using fresh. Peel and finely chop the onion. Put the onion in a 5- to 6-quart braising pan with 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat. Sauté until the onion turns a rich golden color, about 5 minutes.
  3. While the onion is sautéing, peel and coarsely chop the tomatoes. Lift the porcini out of the water, squeezing the excess liquid back into the bowl. Do not discard the water. Rinse the mushrooms under running water, then chop them coarsely. When the onion is ready, add the porcini, the tomatoes, and the fresh or frozen peas. Season with salt and pepper, add 1 cup of water, and cook, covered, until the peas are tender, about 15 minutes if using fresh or less than 10 minutes if using frozen.
  4. Transfer the porcini water to a saucepan, pouring it through a strainer lined with a paper towel, and place over medium-low heat. Put about 6 cups water in another saucepan over medium-low heat as well.
  5. When the peas are ready, uncover and raise the heat to medium-high. If there is still liquid in the pan, let it evaporate, then add the rice and stir until it is well coated. Add about 1 cup of the hot porcini water and continue stirring. Add only enough liquid to produce the consistency of a rather thick soup and wait until all the liquid is absorbed before adding more. Continue cooking until the rice is al dente, 18 to 20 minutes, using plain water once the porcini water is all used up. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining tablespoon of butter. Serve at once.