Mushroom Risoniotto…for when you just don’t have the energy or time for Risotto…

I only make Risotto in the Autumn and Winter.

My favorite thing about making Risotto is that I get to stand stirring it whilst sipping the dry white wine I am using to make it.

Whole bottles have gone astray this way.

A weird thing I have noticed about myself is that I will buy much more expensive bottles of wine to cook with than just too drink? Like a meal is more of an investment that a quick glass of wine after work.

Sometimes, however you just don’t have the time to make a good Risotto and this is a wonderful less faff alternative. It took me about 30 minutes to make it, and whilst it possibly lacks a little of the depth of a risotto, it had a ‘fresher’ taste that made up for it.

I am working my way through the River Cottage – Every Day Veg and this is another lovely recipe from that book.

I used beautiful chestnut mushrooms and portobellini, I am sure in a few weeks time wild mushrooms will be available and this recipe would only get better.


  • 2 tbs of olive oil
  • 2 tbs of butter
  • 500 g of mushrooms cleaned and sliced – this will look like to much, it is not, don’t panic
  • 150 g of risoni (or you can use orzo)
  • 2 cloves of garlic chopped
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme 
  • 1 tsp of balsamic vinegar
  • 75 ml of dry white wine (and the rest too drink)
  • 50 ml of double cream or creme fraiche
  • salt and pepper
  • handful of freshly chopped parsley to serve
  1. Place a large saucepan of water over a high heat and bring it to the boil before salting, and leave while you cook the mushrooms.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon each of the oil and butter in a frying pan over a medium high heat. Add half of the mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until all of the liquid is released has been evaporated and the mushrooms start to caramelise. Remove from the pan and set aside while you cook the remaining mushrooms.
  3. When the second batch of mushrooms are almost done add the first batch to the pan along with the thyme leaves, garlic and balsamic vinegar and cook, stirring, for a minute or two.
  4. Add the wine and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated before adding the cream or creme fraiche. Season with salt and pepper and serve sprinkled with fresh parsley.


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