California Central Coast Recipes

Mushroom Risotto with Cabernet Sauvignon

This is a delicious dish from Northern Italy. This takes a little more time for preparation and cooking but it’s worth the effort.

Since this is so yummy and reheats well, I make a larger batch than required with the intention of having it as a leftover a couple days later. This is comfort food –but again, elegant enough for guests.

I love to make this--especially in the Fall and Winter. It is so delicious with the sauted mushrooms, wine and cheese combination that seems to satisfy the heartiest of appetites.

For technique insights please see my article Risotto - Rice Italian Style! ©2018, Mushroom Risotto with Cabernet Sauvignon
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
re-calculate ingredients for:


2 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons Extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup Onion , finely chopped
3 oz. Pancetta or 3 slices lean bacon,, diced
2 to 3 cloves Garlic minced
1/2 teaspoons dried Thyme
1-1/2 cups Cabernet Sauvignon
2 cups Risotto
Several-grinds Black Pepper
8 to 10 cups reduced sodium Chicken Broth , hot
3/4 pound Fresh Mushrooms , cut into fourths or if small, halves
1/2 cups fresh Italian Parsley , chopped
1 cup Grated Parmesan cheese


1/2 oz dried Porcini Mushrooms soaked in ...
1 warm water for a half hour. Right before starting to cook, drain the soaked mushrooms saving the water. Heat-up the saved water. Set aside for later. Coarsely dice or cut into slivers the hydrated Porcini mushrooms.

Preparation Directions.

1 In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, melt butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and saute’ until almost translucent.

2 Add pancetta continue sautéing. Add garlic and thyme and cook about a minute or so until fragrant.

3 Add red wine and boil to reduce to one cup. This usually takes 3 – 5 minutes.

4 Add rice and pepper and stir quickly with butter and wine mixture. (Until the rice seems to shine.) Add (ladle in) 2 cups hot chicken broth and stir(with a wooden spoon) until absorbed by the rice---about 5 min. Add mushrooms and Porcini if using-- stir. Though it looks like too many mushrooms, it’s not—they’ll cook down.

5 Add the heated Porcini water and stir. Continue to add as much broth as needed, 1 cup at a time, stirring until the rice is creamy and tender but firm in the center when tried. (Process takes about 18 minutes from the time you add the mushrooms.)

6 Stir in the Parmesan cheese and parsley, then remove from heat.

7 Serve on warmed dinner plates, sprinkling a little additional chopped parsley on top of each plate for color and presentation.

8 Note: If you run out of broth and you need to cook the rice a bit longer, substitute hot water.—It won’t affect the taste that much.

Wine and Food Pairing and Serving Suggestions.

Wine suggestion:Cabernet Saugvignon or Zinfandel.

A tip from Sue!

The Practical Cook

At the heart of great cooking is a practical cook. Don’t experiment with a new recipe for company.

Use tried and true recipes for those occasions so you can reduce your worries and enjoy the meal and entertaining.