This quick risotto-type pasta dish comes from his “River Cottage Veg: 200 Inspired Vegetable Recipes” cookbook.

I found a digital version of the recipe over here.

What worked and what didn’t:
We made this one before and it’s a super simple but very tasty dish you can cook in about 25 minutes. Just sauté sliced mushrooms in some butter and olive oil in 2 batches. When the last batch of mushrooms is almost ready, start cooking the orzo (also known as risoni) al dente in about 8-10 minutes. Add garlic, thyme leaves and balsamic vinegar to the sautéed mushrooms and stew for 2 minutes. Then add the white wine and when almost fully reduced, add a splash of double cream or crème fraîche and the drained orzo. Combine, season to taste and serve with the chopped parsley (and some parmesan).

Unlike a risotto – where you add stock to the rice before adding sautéed mushrooms – you here just add plainly cooked orzo to the sautéed mushrooms. Therefore, don’t be skimpy with adding thyme and seasoning as you will need to pack the mushrooms with as much flavour as you can.

mushroom risonotto

Recipe accuracy:
This time we both totally missed that the recipe was only intended for 2 (luckily the link has a scalable list of ingredients), but with a pound of mushrooms being sautéed, it still was filling enough for all of us.

Suggested tweaks:
Cook the orzo in a light stock to give it more depth.

Verdict: 8/10; so it will be made again.

4 replies on “Mushroom “Risoniotto” by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

  1. We love this one and make it quite often. The orzo/risoni we use (Tesco Finest) doesn’t seem to need the 8-10 minutes of cooking suggested on the pack, and above. In fact, just 4-5 minutes in salted boiling water will leave it nicely tender. Best to check as you go, as final texture is such a matter of taste where dried pasta is concerned.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Keith, you are absolutely right, the actual cooking times differ quite a lot between brands and types of pasta. You can indeed better go for an ‘al dente’ bite rather than ending up with a mush…


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