The perfect season to go for long walks in the woods to hunt for mushrooms starts normally in september, in the mountains of Piedmont and the Aosta Valley, along with the first rains and lower temperature. But this is a very weird summer in Northern Italy. Abundant rains and temperatures lower than the seasonal average made the climate already perfect for mushrooms in August.
In Valle d’Aosta, where I’m spending some days resting and trekking, the wood made a wonderful gift.
I was so surprised to find these beautiful porcini!!
Therefore last night we had an unexpected and delicious porcini risotto.
I haven’t here my Canon and the light as well as all the settings are not ideal for shooting, but I had a special collaborator, my husband and his handy camera shot all the process. Was the first time ever that I had such a precious help! And was so funny! And the recipe is so scrumptious that worths every single second and shot!
I also promised to share with you some tips to cook a perfect Piedmont style porcini risotto, that are mainly 3:
- Abundant extremely fresh porcini: for this recipe you need to use only fresh porcini, not dried, the boletus must be very fresh, very white, and the spores still not dark or yellow. The flavor of fresh porcini is delicate so it is important to use a generous amount of mushrooms, about 3-4 oz. each portion
- Cooking point: rice and mushrooms should be al dente, the rice has reached the point of cooking when the grain is white inside and translucent outside. Porcini mushrooms should be cooked no more than 10 minutes and should keep the crisp and the scent of brushwood, overcooked porcini mushroom become soggy and lost most of flavor and scent.
- No broth, no other kind of flavor enhancers: the delicate flavor of the porcini would be covered by both meat and vegetables broths, changing the scent. To enhance flavor use just parmesan at the end of cooking. Who does not love the flavors too delicate can add to the water used to cook the rice a pinch or two of coarse unrefined sea salt.
Hope you enjoy this really easy and delicious piece of Piedmont!