1-ounce dried porcini mushrooms
4 cups chicken broth
1 pound fresh portobello and crimini mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped shallots (3-4 shallots)
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 ounces pancetta, diced
1 stick of butter
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped, plus extra for serving
2 cups Arborio rice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup dry white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
Place the dried porcini mushrooms in a bowl and add 2 cups boiling water. Set aside for 20-30 minutes. In a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock to a simmer and leave on low heat.
Meanwhile, remove and discard the stems of the crimini and portabellas and rub any dirt off the caps with a damp paper towel. Slice thickly and set aside.
Dice 3-4 shallots so that you have a half a cup. Mince 2 cloves of garlic, chop 2 tablespoons of parsley and grate 1 cup of parmesan cheese.
Scoop the porcini from the water with a slotted spoon, reserving the liquid. You should have 2 cups; if not, add water to make 2 cups. Pour the mushroom liquid through a coffee filter or paper towel, discarding the gritty solids. Add the liquid to the chicken stock and bring back to a simmer.
In a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the pancetta, garlic and shallots over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Add the all the mushrooms and the parsley and saute for another 5 minutes. Add the rice and a tablespoon of olive oil and stir to coat the grains with butter. Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes. Add 2 full ladles of the chicken stock mixture to the rice plus the saffron, salt, and pepper. Stir and simmer over med-low heat until the stock is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Continue to add the stock mixture, 2 ladles at a time, stirring every few minutes. Each time, cook until the mixture seems a little dry before adding more of the stock mixture. Continue until the rice is cooked through, but still al dente, about 30 minutes. When its done, the risotto should be thick and creamy, but dry. Off the heat, stir in the Parmesan cheese. Serve hot in bowls with extra cheese and chopped parsley.