Risotto is one of my absolute favourite foods. Not the sloppy, overly-creamy, salty mush they so often serve in restaurants. No, I like my risotto fresh and homemade, preferably by either me or my mum (and my sister did make me a lovely risotto once too).
When we were growing up, my mum used to use risotto to stuff peppers – she usually did two types, one mushroom and one with chorizo and sun-dried tomato. Both lovely, but then I became vegetarian and thus I’ve never made the chorizo one myself. Since I eat meat now, I might have to give it a go at some point… though I don’t like to eat non-free range pork if I can avoid it.
In spite of LOVING risotto, I don’t get to eat it enough – Dave isn’t a fan, you see, so I tend to only have it when he’s not there or occasionally if he’s having something meaty I don’t want. He was having a burger on Saturday though so I took my opportunity and decided to make some risotto goodness for dinner.
My absolute favourite type of risotto is flavoured with chilli, sage and lemon (and is what this blog is named after, by the way), and I’ve wanted to make this for the blog for ages. But we had mushrooms to use up so I decided to make a lovely mushroom version like my mum’s (I didn’t ask for her recipe so have no idea how similar it is, but it tasted SO good anyway).
I used a generous helping of dried mushrooms since I have such an enormous tub, but if you’re doubling to serve two people, you probably don’t need to double these. Or skip them altogether if your budget doesn’t stretch to them, but they do make a difference.
Serves one at £1.13 per portion
- 80-100g mushrooms, finely sliced 19p (Morrisons savers)
- 1 small onion, chopped 3p (Morrisons savers)
- 100g arborio risotto rice 22p (Asda)
- 10g dried mixed mushrooms 35p (optional; giant tub from Amazon)
- Vegetable stock (around 4-500ml) 5p (half an Oxo cube from Morrisons)
- 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil 1p (Morrisons)
- 15g butter 6p (Morrisons savers)
- 10g parmesan or similar, finely grated 13p (Tesco)
- 1 small glass white wine (optional; free as left by a friend after a party)
Heat the oil in one pan and the stock in another. Add the dried mushrooms to the stock and let them rehydrate in the stock as it comes to the boil.
Gently cook the onion for a few minutes until until starting to soften, then add the mushrooms and cook until soft. A minute before the end, add the risotto rice and stir into the mix until coated in oil.
After a minute, when the rice is going translucent, add the white wine, if using (if not, just add the first ladleful of stock). At this point, I removed the the dried mushrooms from the stock with a slotted spoon, sliced and tossed in the risotto.
Stir the risotto as the wine or stock cooks in, and once the rice has absorbed all the liquid (but before it has stuck to the bottom or burnt), add another ladleful of liquid. Continue adding stock and stirring for around 20 minutes, or until the rice is cooked through but still with some bite. If I run out of stock, I tend to start using a little hot water as I don’t want to add too much salt at this point.
Remove from heat and stir the butter and parmesan in (reserving a little cheese for topping if you want) and stir really vigorously,until the sauce looks thick and glossy. Serve straight away – risotto just isn’t the same reheated, so if you have leftovers, make them into balls, coat in breadcrumbs and fry to make arancini.
£1.13 per portion. You can reduce the cost by skipping the dried mushrooms. You could also try using normal rice instead of risotto rice for a cheaper risotto-style dish – I’ve seen other bloggers do this successfully but I’ve never tried because risotto is such a treat for me!