Risotto is a wonderful meal in and of itself, whether it is straight risotto bianco, the most basic (used for Arancini), or a richer flavoured more gourmet style with the likes of lamb, duck, wild boar or like this version porcini mushrooms.

Porcini Mushroom & Prosciutto Risotto - Cooking with RichMy first experience of a mushroom risotto, the one that I fell in love with, was a wild mushroom risotto at a restaurant on Sydney Harbour called Otto at Woolloomooloo. There was something so rich and decadent about it that just made an impression on me.  I went back quite a number of times just for the risotto.  

I did finally go to a cooking class some time after, held by one of the Otto chefs, that went through the process, of sorts, on how to make it. It was labourious, particularly making the mushroom stock, literally 2-3 kg of a range of mushroom varieties, boiled and cooked down to a rich stock that was then used to make the risotto. Amazing on so many levels but not for the faint of heart and certainly not the quickest of meals to make. Sadly I haven't seen Otto's mushroom risotto on the menu for many years now.

Since then I have tried many a version, some pretty good, others less so.

For an easier, quicker and very tasty version I have come to the recipe below that can be made on the day and is packed full of flavour using dried porcini mushrooms and prosciutto. For the more observant I do add in shiitake mushrooms, not very traditional but I do love the texture and it diffuses slightly the very strong flavour of the porcini mushrooms. However you can go for it and use only porcini as an alternative.

The prosciutto was a little test originally, as an alternative to salt, and it worked really well, not just for the saltiness but when fried crispy, for that added texture to a normally creamy risotto.

Also don't forget, any leftover risotto can be made into arancini without too much extra effort.

So, as always, have a go, let me know.

Porcini Mushroom & Prosciutto Risotto - Cooking with Rich