Funghi porcini, or Boletus Edulis, is a wild mushroom which is not too difficult to find in the forests in Italy. Many go out to find these precious mushrooms, often just after the summer season in September and October.
Once I accompanied a friend into the forest in Trentino to find funghi porcini. One fine Autumn day we started early in the morning in the forest of the Monteluco mountain. Monteluco is close to Arco (TN) and has views over the Garda Lake. During that morning many other locals had the same idea, many cars were parked along the road, also at impossible places.
Every local has his or her secret places where to find the Funghi Porcini. During our hunting we’ve seen other people, who stiffly said “good morning”, but apart from that each of us went their own way. It is like a competition: who will find the biggest mushroom?
It is not easy to find the correct “Funghi Porcini”. You need to recognize them. If you don’t, you’ll have the chance to find and eat poisonous mushrooms. Fortunately this didn’t happend to me!
In Umbria I’ve never been for mushrooms hunting. I always purchase them at the market in Castiglione del Lago.
This week I’ve made a delicious Risotto ai Funghi Porcini, here’s my recipe:
Ingredients for 2 persons:
- 200 gr. fresh Funghi Porcini (4 pieces) thinly sliced
- 1/2 onion finely chopped
- 1 liter vegetable stock
- a glass of white wine
- 200 rice (I use “riso fino”, but Arborio rice or Carnaroli rice are perfect for risotto)
- 2 spoons extra vergin olive oil
- grated Parmesan Cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- chopped fresh leaf parsley
Heat the extra olive oil in a large pan. Add the finely chopped onion first over a medium heat of 3-5 minutes untill the onion is soft. Than add the thinly sliced Funghi Porcini. Stir thoroughly for 1 or 2 minutes. Add the rice and stir until the rice is coated with the olive oil. Add the glass of white wine, keep stirring and let the wine evaporate. This will take e couple of minutes. Return the heat to medium – low and add the stock. The stock should be added at the rate of a couple of ladlefuls at a time and when this is absorbed. Add stock, and keep on stirring for another 15-20 minutes. Keep an eye on the pan to avoid the risotto sticking to the bottom or even burning.
The final stage of cooking you need to taste the rice. The tasting will tell you if you need to adjust salt or pepper.
When the rice is perfectly cooked you move the pan from the cooker. You add the parmesan cheese, a knob of butter and the chopped fresh leaf parsley. You keep on stirring gently for 2-3 minutes and…ready.
– post by Sylvia van der Male –