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Emigrated from America to New Zealand and never looked back. Couldn't have asked for a better husband, family & life!


This is one of my all time favourites. It's a smooth and creamy comfort food with loads of flavour. Here in New Zealand it can be challenging to find certain items (such as porcini mushrooms), so I get my special ingredients at the
Mediterranean Food Warehouse in Newtown.

I buy the dried porcinis and soak them prior to use. In this case, the obvious option for me, was to dice the dried mushrooms and then add them to the stock before bringing it to a boil. This way, the gorgeous procini flavour was able to develop in the risotto from the start. Otherwise, if you have access to fresh porcinis, you also have the option of adding them with the bacon as I have indicated below. Either way, this dish is "to die for"!

This recipe makes quite a large pan full, so you may opt to cut in in half...personally, I like leftover risotto for lunch the next day, so I don't mind.


1.5 Litres (6-6.5 Cups) Stock of your choice (I used Chicken)
2 Large Onions (finely chopped)
3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
75 Gms Butter (approx 2.5 oz)
¼ Cup Verjuice (or ½ Water-½ Lemon Juice Mixture)
500 Gms (about 1 Lb) Diced Bacon
½ Cup Diced Porcini Mushrooms
300 Gms (5 oz dry/uncooked) Arborio Rice
3 Cloves Crushed Garlic
1 Tbsp Oregano
¼ Cup Packed Freshly Chopped Parsley/Cilantro
150 Gms (~5 oz) Parmiggiano Reggiano Cheese (finely grated & FRESH)
*Fresh Parsley Garnish
*Freshly Ground Pepper

*Amounts vary to individual tastes


Firstly, fry off the bacon until the bits begin to go crispy, then set aside.

In a large chef's pan or other wide-bottom pan that can hold 8 cups or so of cooked risotto...heat the oil & butter and start to cook the onions. Do not brown the onions, just cook until they start to soften.

Whilst the onions are cooking, you will need to boil the stock and keep it hot in a smaller saucepan until it's used up.

When the onion starts to go clear, add the rice and stir to coat well. It will almost look "glassy" and transparent on the grain ends when well mixed. Cook for about 2-3 minutes.

Now increase the heat and add the verjuice (or substitute) and stir until the liquid soaks completely into the rice.

Reduce the heat again and begin adding the hot stock to the rice pan one-cup at a time. Stir constantly and only add the next cup after the previous one has been absorbed into the rice. Repeat this until 2/3 of the stock is gone. This takes about 20 minutes - stirring constantly.

Now add in the bacon, mushrooms, garlic, and oregano then increase the heat once again.

Add the last 2 cups or so of the stock one cup at a time, as before and stirring constantly (about 10 minutes) until the risotto is smooth & creamy.

Taste for seasoning and check that the rice is cooked through.

Finally, remove from heat and stir in the Parmiggiano and parsley/cilantro and that’s it!

You may also wish to serve this with an extra drizzle of EVOO, additional parsley and cracked pepper. Even my picky daughter (who claims to hate rice) loved this one!

2 Thoughts & Remarks:

Cheryl said...

Risotto is one of my favorite foods, this looks delish!

Linda F said...

I make sure when I am in Wellington to pay a visit to the Med warehouse and dried porcini are always on the list!!! At least you have it nearby and the likes of Moore Wilson too!!!!
Risotto rocks!