Risotto with Porcini Mushrooms and Mascarpone

This is my first attempt at making risotto and I recruited my husband Andrew to help. He was very skeptical that it would be worth the time involved for “a serving of rice” I was able to convince him to stir the concoction continuously by keeping his beer glass filled with a summer ale. We served this with lemon potatoes, tomato and green bean casserole and a glass of chardonnay. I could tell after his first bite that he was completely sold! 🙂 This recipe is phenomenal! His only complaint was that we didn’t make enough. The rich bold flavor of the porcini mushrooms paired with the creamy mascarpone cheese made every bite delightful.

Andrew and I first tried risotto on our backpacking trip through Italy a few years ago. We spent a month backpacking our way around Italy and France trying the local cuisine and visiting the local vineyards. We tried risotto from various regions of Italy which all had their subtle nuances. With this recipe we tried to capture the best risotto we found, which was served to us in the small walled city of Lucca. While we couldn’t recreate the authentic Italian ambience, we were able to recreate this amazing dish. By the end of this meal we were planning our next trip to Italy.

Risotto with Porcini Mushrooms and Mascarpone

Risotto with Porcini Mushrooms and Mascarpone


  • 2 cups  boiling water
  • 1  cup  dried porcini mushrooms (about 1 ounce)
  • 1  (14-ounce) can less-sodium beef broth
  • Cooking spray
  • 1  cup  uncooked Arborio rice
  • 3/4  cup  chopped shallots
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2  cup  dry white wine
  • 1/4  cup  (1 ounce) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1  tablespoon  chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4  cup  (1 ounce) mascarpone cheese


  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.
  2. Bring reserved soaking liquid and broth to a simmer in a small saucepan (do not boil). Keep broth mixture warm over low heat.
  3. Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add rice, shallots, and garlic to pan; sauté 5 minutes. Add wine; cook until liquid evaporates (about 2 minutes).
  4. Add 1 cup broth mixture to rice mixture; cook over medium heat 5 minutes or until the liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring occasionally. Add remaining broth mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring occasionally until each portion of broth mixture is absorbed before adding the next (about 6 minutes between each addition/ or about 25 minutes total). Add mushrooms, Parmigiano-Reggiano, thyme, salt, and pepper; stir gently just until cheese melt. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon mascarpone cheese. Serve warm.


Source: Cooking Light Magazine, January 2010

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