Risotto with porcini mushrooms

Risotto with porcini mushrooms (in Italian “Risotto ai funghi porcini”) looks like a normal, creamy risotto with small slices or pieces of porcini mushrooms inside. It is a classic food to taste in autumn, the season with which this sophisticated Italian dish has so many colours in common which are served at PocoLoco.

“Risotto” is obtained by boiling rice with broth on a low flame in a way that it begins a bit creamy; Porcini (Boletus edilis) is one of the most cherished mushrooms in the world. Its flavour is delicate, with an aftertaste that vaguely reminds the underbrush. Porcini and rise pair perfect. However, some grated Parmesan is added to make this dish a bit tastier.

It seems that risotto was invented in Naples. Today, rice is massively cultivated in Northern Italy near Pavia and Milan, owing to the availability in this area of the big quantity of water that is necessary for paddies.  Especially in Milan, risotto is so popular that it has always been regarded as the traditional dish of the town. Even Verdi, the great master of the Italian Opera that stayed in Milan for many years, was an enthusiast of risotto and a passionate chef of risotto as well.

Coming to wine pairings, in general, mushrooms do not pair well with the red wines with strong tannins, because the bitter notes of the tannins are amplified in an unpleasant way by mushrooms. Among the red wines, Barbaresco could be an idea; but in most cases, a white wine is the right choice, especially if it is a bit sparkling and obtained by chardonnay grapes. Naturally champagne pairs particularly well with risotto with porcini mushrooms.