Thursday, October 11, 2012

mushroom marsala risotto





The low was 39 degrees on Monday morning.  Brrrrrrrrr for early October.  The heat kicked on in my home overnight.  The high reached 50 during the afternoon, with overcast skies and a drizzling rain all day.  These are late November temperatures!  It didn't faze me; however, it was Columbus Day, and a day off from work!  I was able to spend it creating recipes for a cup of mascarpone.  I love cooking and baking when it's cold and raining (or snowing)…there is such a warm and welcoming feeling in the house.  One problem I did encounter with the gloomy weather - good natural light to take photos, so please excuse them. :(

Bantering back and forth in my head between making a warm and comforting soup, or a spicey chili, I wound up deciding to create my absolute favorite risotto!  Believe it or not, up until a few years ago, I never cooked my own risotto.  When my friend returned from Italy, she told me about all the amazing ways she enjoyed risotto.  That was it, I decided I was going to give it a try, and have been creating it ever since. To date, Mushroom Marsala Risotto is my favorite!  This lovely recipe was adapted from Pink Parsley, and I've yet to find one I like better; although, I continue to play around with recipes to find some equals.  The description from the source couldn't be any better - a slight sweetness and earthiness, with a perfect creamy texture!





Last week I had a sweet message from a one of my blog followers who tried my chocolate mascarpone buttercream.  She wrote she had never used mascarpone cheese until reading my blog.  After reading her kind message, and in keeping with my blog theme, "sweet and savory creations inspired by lovely ingredients," it prompted me, commencing with this post, to give an interesting fact about one of the lovely ingredients that I'm using in the creation.  What a delightful place to start, with this mushroom marsala risotto, which is filled with lovely, fresh ingredients!

Rather than the called for Parmigiano-Reggiano, I use a wonderful Grana Padano Italian cheese when cooking this risotto dish, so thought this would be the lovely ingredient I would feature.  I read an article a couple years ago, which prompted me to begin incorporating it in this delectable risotto.   As Lou DiPalo, of DiPalo's Fine Foods in Little Italy in NYC, describes, "Grana Padano is subtler, and less nutty and salty than Parmigiano, with a more delicate flavor that he prefers on risotto or when you don't want to overpower a dish."  He was so right!    You can read the entire interesting article, Grana Padano vs. Parmigiano-Reggiano: Know Your Italian Cheeses here.  Give it a try sometime, you may like it as much as me!

Have you created my Mushroom Marsala Bruschetta?  If you loved that, you are going to adore Mushroom Marsala Risotto!  What better time to enjoy than a nice fall evening, with a warm crusty bread and a smooth, red wine.

Until next time…mangia!  xox

Carol




Mushroom Marsala Risotto
Serves 2 as a main course or 4 as a side dish.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3/4 cup Arborio rice
1 cup Marsala wine, divided
3-4 cups low-sodium broth (chicken or vegetable)
2 cups cremini or baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano (I used a lovely grana padano cheese)
2 tablespoons fresh basil, minced (additional whole leaves for garnish, if desired)
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Create the Mushroom Marsala Risotto:

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large heavy-bottomed skillet or saute pan over medium heat until foaming subsides.

Add shallots and saute until soft, 2-3 minutes.

Add garlic, tomato paste, and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper and stir to combine. Cook until fragrant, 1 minute.

Meanwhile, heat the chicken stock in a separate medium saucepan until simmering.

Add the Arborio rice to the skillet and toast until opaque around the edges, 3-5 minutes.

Add 3/4 cup of the Marsala wine and cook, stirring often, until absorbed, approximately 5 minutes.

Stir in 1 cup of the broth, and stir occasionally until almost absorbed, 8-12 minutes.

Working 1 ladle of broth at at time, continue to add broth, stirring constantly.  Add the next ladle when the broth is almost completely absorbed.

After you have been cooking the risotto for 10 minutes, stir in the mushrooms.  Continue to cook risotto, stirring constantly, until it is al dente, a total of 20-25 minutes.

Remove from heat, and stir in remaining 1/4 cup of Marsala wine, Parmigiano-Reggiano (or Grana Padano) cheese, basil, and remaining 1 tablespoon butter.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste, if necessary.

Garnish with basil leaves.  Serve immediately.  Mangia!!!

26 comments:

  1. Carol, I'm actually craving this risotto at 9:15 in the morning! It looks delicious! And thank you for introducing me to Grana Padano. Parmigiano-Reggiano is wonderful, but I could always use a new cheese in my life.

    I adore working in the kitchen on drizzly days too. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Val! It's 7:00 a.m. right now, and I'm craving it! Another cold morning, and I'd rather be eating this than my egg white! :) Glad you enjoyed hearing about Grana Padano! Use it anywhere you'd use Parm - but want a milder taste!

      Delete
  2. I'm not a big fan of risotto. But this might change my mind.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love risotto, this will be a new favorite! Can't wait to try it when the temperatures drop here shortly... when it's cold, a nice bowl of risotto is the ultimate comfort food :). P.S. Have you ever tried finishing your risotto with mascarpone? Divine!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Laura, I have never tried mascarpone in my risotto…but I know what I will be trying now! Thanks for the delicious advice!

      Delete
  4. Risotto is one of the most comforting dishes I enjoy! I have never made my own savory risotto before though I have made a couple of dessert risottos. But mushroom risotto is definitely my favorite! I have heard of the grana padano cheese, but have yet to try that, too! This really was the perfect dish to make during our cold and dreary days here! And even without natural light....your pictures are just amazing! : )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your kind comment, Anne! Another cold morning in our neck of the woods! :) I hope you have a chance to try this. You have to watch over it, but that being said, it's simple cooking.

      Delete
  5. I'll have to look at Wegmans for some Grana Padano. I don't think I ever had some.
    Your risotto makes a great dinner meal.

    p.s. we have the heat on for a week now. Just too cold :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Roxana, thanks for stopping by! I always get my Grana Padano at Wegmans, so you should be able to find it at yours. …and the heat kicked on again this morning! :)

      Delete
  6. I think your photos look lovely and provide a very appetizing look at your delicious mushroom marsala risotto;-)
    I will look for the Grana Padano, sounds like a good choice in risotto. This is such a perfect Fall meal, love those mushrooms in my risotto;-) We cooled off a bit here but just heard that a mini heat wave is predicted for next week, I'm ready for cooler weather;-) Have a great weekend;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good morning, Patty! You're so sweet, thank you! You are so right, risotto is the perfect fall meal, and mushrooms added in, are the greatest. Have a beautiful weekend! :)

      Delete
  7. Oh my goodness! I love veal marsala with lots of mushroom! Why I haven't thought of making a mushroom marsala risotto, I don't know! Just a question: do you use dry Marsala or sweet Marsala? People seem to be divided on this one! Thanks, Carol! Enjoy your weekend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jen! I always use a dry Marsala, even when I use it in sweets. To me, even the dry Marsala has a sweetness to it, without being overly sweet, if that makes sense. Hope this helps! Enjoy your Sunday!!

      Delete
  8. Mmmm....this does sound like the best risotto ever!!! I must try it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you do, Liz…it's wonderful! Thinking of making it again today, since my daughter is visiting! :)

      Delete
  9. I bake olives and garlic in marsala because they end with a wonderful syrup, so I´m going nuts about this risotto! I love risotto and I LOVE marsala. So, isn´t it weird I never put those two together? This is the best recipe of the day Carol!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Olives and garlic in marsala sounds incredible, Paula! That would make a fabulous risotto recipe!!! Congrats again on your cake being picked up by the LA Times!!! So happy for you!!!

      Delete
  10. What a perfect fall dish! I love all of the flavors you put together. Pinning now!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I love risotto, I love mushrooms, and I love marsala - pretty sure this was make for me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :) Thanks, Erin! You'll have to try it along with all those delicious savory dishes you make!

      Delete
  12. Mushrooms and risotto were meant to be together--this looks heavenly!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I don't know how I missed this, but I do know I'll be making it! Love risotto, beautiful dish!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Meghan, I just realized I never responded to your kind comment! Thanks so much, and hope you've had the opportunity to try it!!!

      Delete

Hi! Thank you so much for stopping by a cup of mascarpone, and taking the time to leave a comment! I read, smile, and cherish each and every one of them! xox

Carol