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Author Notes: One of my all time favorite food memories is my first experience eating truffles in Italy. My husband and I were in Verona and we stumbled upon a tiny restaurant hidden in an alley behind the ruins of an ancient coliseum. We peeked in, it looked great and we made reservations for later. That night after watching with great anticipation as they ever so slowly poured the red wine from one decanter to another, swirling and speaking enthusiastically in Italian; they finally presented me with a beautiful plate of Fettuccini; warm and melting with parmesan. The waiter ceremoniously brought over the small white truffle and began shaving (very liberally I might add) the tiny tuber over my pasta. The smell was unlike anything I have ever smelled; the taste sent waves of pleasure sensation through my entire body. While I have never been able to duplicate the deep, rich, heady, almost indescribable taste of white truffle here (even when ordered in restaurants -- very expensively I might add and never worth it) -- it just doesn't have the same intensity. So...this is where the truffle oil comes in. It’s not the same as an actual white truffle, but the cost is much less and it evokes a nice memory of that first experience in Italy. I have tried quite a few and "Etruria" (bought at the Wine House here in L.A. and I'm sure available online) is pretty good. I've substituted risotto for the fettucini and the process of cooking the white sliced mushrooms over medium high heat caramelizes them and brings out a deep depth of flavor. I hope that you enjoy this dish as much as I enjoyed making it and eating it! —coffeefoodwritergirl
- 6-8 large white mushrooms – sliced (about 4 cups)
- ½ cup dry white wine
- ½ small onion – minced
- 6 cups chicken stock or broth
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 ½ cups Arborio rice
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4-5 grinds fresh ground pepper
- 1 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons white truffle oil
- additional salt and pepper to taste
- Heat stock to just below boiling. Keep on heat at a simmer.
- Put 2 tablespoons olive oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan, add onions and sauté over medium heat until translucent. Remove onions from pan; add additional 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter, turn heat up to medium high and place sliced mushrooms, ¼ teaspoon salt and a 4-5 grinds black pepper in pan. Cook on medium high heat, letting mushrooms sear on each side in as even a layer as possible, stirring as little as possible until a golden mahogany in color. (You want to cook the mushrooms over the highest heat possible without burning them, until dark but not burned – caramelized.)
- Turn heat down a bit, add rice and sauté until entirely coated (about one minute). Add white wine and sauté and stir until wine is completely absorbed. Add enough hot broth to cover rice and stir and sauté until wine is absorbed. Continue to add hot broth ½ cup at a time, stirring each time until broth is completely absorbed (keep rice mixture at a very low, slow boil). Continue this ½ cup adding of broth and stirring constantly technique until all broth is absorbed and rice is “al dente” (about 16-18 mins.)
- Turn heat down to low and add freshly grated parmesan, a little at a time, stirring constantly. Mixture will be thick and gooey. Adjust for salt and pepper. Add 2 tablespoons white truffle oil, stir again and serve immediately.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Risotto (Savory)