Mushroom Risoniotto

My next mushroom inspiration…I’m a mushroom freak. I make a mushroom soup where I use maybe six or seven varieties, not just Portobello and shiitake, but dried porcini and morels.
Itzhak Perlman

Another recipe contribution for the cooking club theme “A pinch of this, A dash of that…Okay so what is risoniotto?  Simply put orzo and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has a fabulous easy dish for mushroom lovers like me and while it is not the prettiest dish it is packed with a rich hearty earthy flavor if you use several kinds of mushrooms, today baby bellas because I’m the only mushroom eater in my house and the Portobello mushrooms that I have are just way to big.  This recipe is easily halved and would go nicely with your favorite grilled steak and certainly fits into the quick dinner or side dish categories.  The only thing that I would add to my dish next time would be a little grated cheese.

Risoniotto for 2, slightly adapted from Hugh’s River Cottage Veg

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter 1 pound mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed, and thickly sliced
5 ounces orzo pasta
2 garlic cloves, chopped
A few sprigs of thyme, leaves only
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
About ⅓ cup dry white wine
About 3 ½ tablespoons heavy cream (I needed a bit more for a saucier sauce)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
A good handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped for garnish
*optional grated parmesan

Put a large pot of salted water on for the pasta while you prepare the sauce.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil and half of the butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.
Add half of the mushrooms and cook briskly, stirring often, until all the liquid released has evaporated and the mushrooms are starting to caramelize.
Transfer to a dish and repeat with the rest of the oil, butter, and mushrooms.
When the second batch of mushrooms is nearly cooked, add the pasta to the pan of boiling water and cook until al dente.
Return the first lot of mushrooms to the frying pan. Add the garlic, thyme, and balsamic vinegar and cook, stirring, for a minute or two. Add the wine and cook until there is almost no liquid left.
Add the cream, lower the heat a little, and stir until the sauce is just about simmering. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drain the pasta as soon as it is al dente, add to the mushroom mixture, and toss well. Serve scattered with lots of chopped parsley and optional grated parmesan cheese.

Fearnley-Whittingstall, Hugh (2013-05-14). River Cottage Veg: 200 Inspired Vegetable Recipes (Kindle Locations 3497-3504). Potter/TenSpeed/Harmony. Kindle Edition.
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