Mushroom and Red Wine Risotto

This is such a robust, powerful and unusual dish that, on the whole, I think it stands best on its own with perhaps a salad, cheese and fruit to follow for a simple lunch or supper. As to the wine that you use, I would suggest a cabernet sauvignon or a chianti, but I have the feeling that it is a dish which would lend itself to experiment. For mushrooms, use wild or cultivated, one single variety or a mixture. Shiitake, oyster and cup mushrooms are a fine combination.


  • 3 oz / 85 g unsalted butter
  • 1 onion or 3 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 12 oz / 340 g mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 12 oz / 340 g arborio rice
  • ½ pt / 280 ml red wine
  • 2 pt / 1.15 l simmering vegetable or chicken stock
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 oz / 60 g Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • parsley or chervil, to garnish (optional)


Melt half the butter in a large, heavy pan, and fry the onion or shallots until translucent. Add the mushrooms, and make sure they are well coated with butter before stirring in the rice. Bring the wine to the boil, and pour half of it over the rice. Cook, stirring, until it has been absorbed, then add the rest. Once all the wine has been absorbed, gradually add the simmering stock, as in the Basic Method. You may not need to use all the stock. The rice may be cooked to your taste after you have put in about pt / 990 ml. Season and stir in the rest of the butter and the Parmesan cheese, and serve immediately in heated soup plates. Garnish with parsley or chervil if you wish.


Omit the mushrooms, and stir in a bay leaf and a few sprigs of rosemary with the rice. Use ¾ pt / 430ml wine and only about pt / 990ml stock. Sprinkle each serving with a little balsamic vinegar.