Mushroom marsala risotto was inspired by marsala chicken. All the flavors of marsala chicken in a risotto!
I have all of these beautiful herbs in my garden that I need to use up before the dreaded first frost. My sage has gotten huge and it’s so fragrant.
Sage always pairs well with mushrooms and I happened to have some arborio rice in the pantry. I’m all about making a meal out of whatever I have on hand. Maybe it’s because grocery shopping ranks right up there with eating cucumbers and melons for me (read my greek chicken salad post).
Risotto is a simple rice dish that can be somewhat intimidating. However, by following a few simple steps you too can prepare a perfect risotto every time. Once you have the technique down for risotto, you can easily change the flavors so that it will be new and exciting every time you make it.
For mushroom marsala risotto, on medium heat, I sautéed shallots, garlic, and mushrooms in some oil. Grapeseed oil is a great all purpose oil that I always have in my pantry. It has a high smoke point, which means it won’t burn at high heat, and it doesn’t impart any flavor into my dish. Because we are cooking on medium heat, you can use whatever oil you have in your pantry.
Once the mushrooms have cooked down, deglaze the pan with marsala wine. Deglazing is just a fancy term that means add some cold wine to a hot pan to get any bits of flavor off the bottom of the pan. Let the wine cook out and add some chopped sage. I like to add the herbs at the end so they don’t turn brown. Take the pan off the heat and set aside.
In a sauce pan, heat some broth. I like chicken broth for this recipe. Chicken broth has a very neutral flavor. Vegetable and beef broth have very distinct flavors that might conflict with mushrooms and marsala. To begin a risotto, on medium heat, toast some arborio rice in oil making sure each grain of rice is coated. This takes about 5-7 minutes.
At this point, I usually deglaze with white wine to add extra flavor. However, because I used the marsala wine in the mushrooms, I omitted that step. Once the rice is toasted and each grain is coated in the oil, add one ladle of warm chicken broth. Once the broth has been absorbed, add another ladle of broth. Once that has been absorbed, add one more ladle of chicken broth. By the time the third ladle of chicken broth has been absorbed, you should have the perfect risotto. It usually takes just under 20 minutes. Give the rice a taste and if needed, add some salt.
Stir in the mushrooms.
For the perfect finish, I usually add some parmesan cheese, a pad of butter, and a splash of heavy cream. The parmesan cheese adds a little bit of nuttiness and saltiness. The butter and cream give the risotto a little bit of richness and create that shiny appearance.
Now get creative and add whatever you love. Risotto is blank palette for you to create your very own culinary work of art!