Who says you have to go out to dine in style? This risotto looks fantastic, and tastes even better – prefect for any January dinner parties you have planned. This dish can easily be made vegetarian as well, simply swap the chicken stock for vegetable stock and be sure to use vegetarian parmesan.

Serves: 2

Cooking time: 30 minutes, plus soaking

INGREDIENTS:

  • 15g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 500ml fresh chicken stock
  • 50ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • 1/2 fennel bulb, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 1/2 celery stalk, peeled and finely sliced
  • 175g Arborio risotto rice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 80ml white wine
  • 75g parmesan, finely grated
  • Small bunch flat leaf parsley, leaves chopped
  • Drizzle of good quality truffle oil
  • Salt and pepper, to season

METHOD:

First, soak the dried mushrooms in 250ml of boiling water for 30 minutes.

Then, strain the mushrooms, reserving the liquid. Add the liquid to a small saucepan along with the chicken stock and bring to a simmer over a low heat.

Heat the olive oil and 50g of the butter in a large sauté pan and add the onion, garlic, soaked mushrooms, celery and fennel. Season with a little salt and pepper. Fry over a low heat, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.

Turn up the heat to medium and add the rice, stirring well to ensure all the grains are coated in the mixture. Add the white wine and stir until reduced. Add a ladleful of the hot stock from the saucepan, stirring until it has been absorbed by the rice and then add another. Continue for around 20 minutes by which time the rice should be just cooked - it should have a little bite to it and the risotto should be creamy, rather than dry. Add most of the parmesan and rest of the butter.

Stir and season to taste. Ladle into warm bowls, sprinkle with extra parmesan and parsley. Drizzle over a little truffle oil and serve. Enjoy!

Mushroom and thyme risotto