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Risotto With Mushrooms and Thyme

Risotto With Mushrooms and Thyme

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The Italian word for the ideal risotto texture is all’onda—literally, “like a wave.” Risotto should spread and move and undulate. If you can stand a spoon up in it, it needs more liquid. The long, plump grains of carnaroli make for a finished dish that’s more special (and more beautiful) than one made with shorter varieties of risotto rice such as arborio or vialone nano. This risotto—part of our BA’s Best collection of essential recipes—is great on its own, or matched with other seasonal ingredients.



  • 1 Tbsp. kosher salt, plus more
  • 6 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ large white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups carnaroli or Japanese sushi rice
  • 5 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 oz. Parmesan, finely grated


  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb. mushrooms (such as shiitake, crimini, or maitake), trimmed, caps torn into 2" pieces
  • 2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice
  • 1 oz. Parmesan, finely grated

Recipe Preparation


  • Combine 1 Tbsp. salt and 10 cups water in a medium pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium to maintain a bare simmer.

  • Meanwhile, heat oil in a 6-qt. Dutch oven over medium. Add onion and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring often, until onion is translucent and starting to soften, 6–8 minutes. Add ½ cup water and cook, stirring often, until water evaporates and onion is sizzling in oil and tender, about 5 minutes. Taste onion; if it’s still firm at all, add a splash of water and continue to cook until meltingly soft.

  • Add rice and stir well to coat with oil. Cook, stirring constantly, until grains are translucent around the edges and make a clattering sound when they hit against the pot, about 5 minutes. (Coating grains with oil before adding any liquid helps the rice cook evenly so that the outside does not become mushy before the center is tender.) Add wine and another pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until wine evaporates, about 2 minutes.

  • Reduce heat to medium, then add hot salted water to rice in ¾-cup increments, stirring constantly and allowing liquid to absorb fully before adding more, until rice is al dente and suspended in a fluid, not-too-thick creamy liquid, 25–30 minutes. It should take 2–3 minutes for each addition to be absorbed; if things are moving faster than this, reduce heat to medium-low. Gradual absorption and constant agitation are key to encouraging starches to release from risotto, creating its trademark creamy consistency. You may not need all of the hot water, but the finished texture should be more of a liquid than a solid. Start checking rice about 15 minutes after the first water addition; the grains should be tender but not mushy, with a slightly firm center that doesn’t leave a chalky residue between your teeth after tasting. Do not overcook!

  • Remove pot from heat, add butter, and stir until melted. Gradually add Parmesan, stirring until cheese is melted and liquid is creamy but very loose; stir in more hot salted water if needed. Taste and season with more salt.


  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high until shimmering. Add mushrooms; cook, tossing occasionally, until they begin to soften and release some liquid, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; cook, tossing occasionally, until deeply browned and tender, 8–10 minutes. Add thyme, garlic, and butter and cook, tossing occasionally, until garlic softens and butter is golden brown, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add vinegar. Toss to coat, scraping up any browned bits. Pluck out thyme.

  • Divide risotto among warm bowls. Top each with a few grinds of pepper and spoon mushroom mixture over. Serve with Parmesan alongside.

Recipe by Carla Lalli MusicReviews SectionWonderful crowd favorite!! We doubled the mushroom portion and it was a hit. Garlic oil was a fun add!megnwallaceSeattle06/09/20Best risotto I've ever had. Since it is just my husband and me, I cut the recipe in half and we will easily get a second meal. I had some leftover shrimp that I had roasted previously and added it at the end of the cooking of the mushrooms to heat through. With the lemon, it was a nice combination. I also drizzled a bit of truffle oil on the risotto before adding the toppings.amschlenkLynchburg VA04/12/20I just made this for dinner and reduced the amounts as there's only two of us (and I didn't want leftovers).Carla, I'm starving! The portions are tiny!It is gorgeous, in fairness, but that makes me even more distraught that I spent that long making dinner and it's not enough!Revise that it feeds 8 please!catherinekfIreland04/10/20This was the creamiest risotto I've ever had. I may have added bacon .... but I think Carla would be okay with that.alexbeggsBon Appétit 04/09/20I've made this three times now - and I used to think I didn't like risotto. The texture truly is beautifully wavey and the mushrooms make for a fantastic textural contrast. Made this for my mum on the weekend and she's begging me to make it again!zoe.bEdinburgh, Scotland03/26/20Have not made yet but will. But please include nutrition info with all of your recipesAnonymousMaryland03/19/20This seemed like a lot of steps for risotto at first... but the result was so yummy I totally did not mind. I used oyster mushrooms. It was delicious!!!Stacy HagarLas cruces, NM03/13/20This recipe elevates the every day risotto to a new Flavor plain. We are those annoying people who flit from recipe to recipe, looking for innovative flavors. We do follow the recipe step by step and are faithful to the ingredients. Stills most recipes disappoint. Not this recipe! Risotto is a favorite food and the preparation can be an almost Zen like experience. Pour, stir gently, relax, repeat. With decent results.In this case, careful attention to the onion preparation and careful coating of the rice lead to rich well developed flavor that we are savoring days later. Note, we used cheap short grain rice, nothing special.christinencote9776Seattle03/04/20This was fantastic. Don't let the need to stir every few minutes be a deterrent to making this, it was quite easy. The mushrooms are so savory and the vinegar adds a nice brightness. I made a broth with salted water, garlic, thyme, and the mushroom ends and used that in addition to the plain salted water. Added some extra depth of flavor this way. Definitely a great cold evening meal. Took me around 50 minutes end to end.msfay91987San Francisco03/02/20

Watch the video: How To Make Perfect Risotto 4 ways. Gennaro Contaldo (June 2022).