Molded Risotto with Dried Porcini Sauce

You can really impress your guests with this elegant and delicious first course!


  • 1 oz. dried porcini recipedetail_generic-200x140
  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • 1 cup shelled fresh young peas, or frozen petite peas
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1-1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped onion
  • 1 Tbs. finely chopped celery
  • 1 Tbs. finely chopped carrot
  • 1-3/4 cups Italian rice (preferably Vialone Nano)
  • 2 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1-1/2 quarts chicken or vegetable broth, heated
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 Tbs. fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • butter and dry breadcrumbs for the mold


To make the sauce, soak the dried porcini in 1/2 cup very hot water for 30 minutes. Remove the mushrooms, squeeze out excess liquid, and chop them coarsely. Save the mushroom liquid. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the porcini and cook over low heat about 10 minutes, add half the mushroom liquid, the wine, stock and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered about 5 minutes add peas and simmer 5 minutes more. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Let sit off of the heat.

To make the risotto, melt 2 Tbs. butter with the onion, celery, and carrot in a wide heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook gently until the vegetables are soft, stirring. Add the rice and cook until the grains are partly translucent, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, cook 30 seconds, and then pour in the wine. Boil rapidly one minute, stirring constantly. Add a ladle full of the simmering broth and the remaining porcini liquid. Cook the risotto, gradually adding the remaining broth in the usual way. When the risotto is al dente,remove it from the heat. Taste, and add salt and pepper. Mix in the rest of the butter and the Parmesan.

Spoon the risotto into 12 ramekins or custard cups that have been generously buttered and lined with breadcrumbs. Place the molds in a preheated 375 degree oven and heat about 15 minutes. Unmold the ramekins onto heated plates, spoon the reheated mushroom sauce around each molded risotto.

Makes 12 servings.