This creamy, earthy flavored truffle mushroom risotto will warm you up on the coldest of winter days and perfect for a romantic date night at home!
One of my favorite things to do on a cold winter night is to have date-night at home. The challenge of date night is often coming up with something elegant and interesting to make but doesn't take forever or require a dozen pots and pans. I think this truffle mushroom risotto provides the perfect solution!
I know risotto is one of those dishes that a lot of people don't make at home because they think it's really difficult. While it does take some time, and a bit of attention, it's really not all that complicated and the result is a lovely side, or main dish, that will definitely impress your dinner guest (or guests)!
Risotto actually gets its creaminess from the starch in the rice being released as it cooks. It gives the dish that nice, rich texture without any added cream or fats.
You'll start this dish by re-hydrating the mushrooms. I use dried mushrooms so they don't get too soggy from the longer cooking time. You can personalize this recipe by using your favorite type of mushrooms, or mix in a couple of different varieties for even more yummy goodness!
Next, you'll sauté the shallots and garlic, then you add the rice and toast until it begins to turn opaque and a small white dot forms in the center of each grain. Add the wine and then start incorporating the broth. Warming the broth before it's added helps to keep everything at an even temperature while it's cooking. You want to add the broth slowly, only about a large ladleful or two at a time. Let it simmer for a few minutes after each addition before you start stirring. Overcooked risotto gets mushy, so you want to cook it just until it's creamy and the rice grains are plump and tender, just al dente. Save the cheese until the end so it doesn't get too sticky.
If you've never tried making risotto I highly encourage you to give it a try. This super creamy dish is the ultimate Italian comfort food that's perfect for a romantic date night at home!
notes from the kitchen
- When cooking the rice you're looking for a lava-like texture when you run a spoon through the middle of it. The rice should move back into place slowly.
- Some people like risotto very runny. That's not how I was taught to make it - I think perfect risotto is creamy, with a nice almost sauce like texture.
- If you end up with extra risotto or want to "cook once, eat twice" check out this recipe for Baked Arancini that uses leftover risotto!
Truffle Mushroom Risotto
- ¾ cup dried mushrooms
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
- ½ cup minced shallots
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
- ¼ cup white wine
- ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon truffle oil
- Place mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with water. Let sit for about 30 minutes until rehydrated. Drain.
- While the mushrooms are rehydrating, heat chicken broth in a small saucepan over medium-low heat.
- After you've drained the mushrooms, melt butter in a large fairly wide bottom pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic, saute for about 2 minutes. Add the rice and saute for 2-3 minutes until a small white dot forms in the middle of each grain.
- Add the wine and cook for about a minute, until the liquid is absorbed.
- Begin adding the warmed chicken broth, one large ladleful at a time. Let the broth come to simmer before beginning to stir. Continue to stir gently until all of the liquid is absorbed.
- Continue to add chicken broth, one ladleful at a time, until the rice becomes creamy and is to cooked to al dente - cooked but just slightly firm. This process should take about 20 minutes.
- Once the rice is cooked remove from the heat and add mushroom, parmesan, thyme, pepper and salt. Stir to incorporate.
- Spoon the risotto into shallow bowls and drizzle with truffle oil. Serve immediately.
Updated. Originally published March 2016.