Red Wine and Mushroom Risotto

“You’ve spent a good amount of money on this wonderful bottle of wine, now what to cook to go with it? I’m sure you can find that big gorgeous piece of meat to cook to perfection; here is something to accompany it. Risotto seems fancy, but the ingredients are basic and you can add a variety of different vegetables and herbs. The mushrooms make this special as well.”

– Katie Wetzel Murphy, a family partner at Alexander Valley Vineyards

1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1 1/2 lbs fresh cremini or white mushrooms
6 tbs umsalted butter
5 – 6 cups chicken broth
6 ounces chopped pancetta or bacon
1 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves, crumbled
3 cups Arborio rice
2 cups dry red wine (AVV of course)
3 tbsp. chopped parsley
1 cup freshly grated Parmesean cheese

Soak porcini in boiling water for 30 minutes. Rinse and chop finely. Chop other mushrooms finely. Simmer broth in a large saucepan. In a 5 to 6 quart saucepan, cook bacon or pancetta over moderate heat for 5 minutes. Melt butter in pan and add fresh mushrooms, onion, rosemary and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in rice and coat with fat, then add one cup of wine. Stir and cook until liquid is absorbed, then add remaining wine.

Add broth 1 cup at a time, stir and cook each addition until absorbed. Cook about 25 to 30 minutes, until rice is creamy and tender. You don’t need to stir this constantly, but do give it a whirl every few minutes. Add the porcini about halfway through. Salt and pepper to taste, then top with parsley and Parmesan and serve.

Serves 8.