I had a teacher, her name is Laura. She taught me Italian. Then from my teacher became my friend. In the end, she was still teaching me Italian, but she refused to take any money. I know her since I was in my 20s that is more than 20 years. She introduced me to the Italian culture and food. We had long talks about what they do in the northern parts of Italy (she is from Torino and she was married to a Greek). I’ve learned customs, places, attitudes, mentalities, stories and of course food. We exchanged ways of cooking and baking. Whenever I make an Italian dish, I always remember her. We don’t live close, so I haven’t seen her for a while. One of these days I hope I will be able to visit her and see her up close. I thought of her while making this risotto and I believe she would enjoyed it, had she been here with us.

In this particular risotto I used morels. I love mushrooms. All kinds of mushrooms. Unfortunately, some kinds I cannot find them fresh, so I compromise with dried. This was the first time I tried morels. I have never seen them or eaten them before. They taste exactly as I imagined, awesome. They have this unique shape as you see in the photos and this stands also for their taste. This risotto was perfect. All family enjoyed it, plus it was very quick to make. Next time I will buy morels, I will try to stuff them. I’ll let you know.

Risotto with Porcini and Morels

20 gr. dried porcini
20 gr. dried morels
2 ½ cups Roma riso (you can use Arborio or carnaroli)
½ cup sweet wine
½ cup dry white wine
30 gr. margarine + 70 gr. margarine
1 onion, chopped
1,300 ml vegetable stock
60 gr. raisins


Put the porcini and morels and raisins in hot water to soak for 20 minutes.
In a pot put the 30 gr. of margarine in medium-high heat. Sauté the onion until it becomes transparent. Add the riso and sauté again until the rice becomes transparent. Add the two wines and stir. Let the rice absorb the wines and then, cup by cup, start pouring the vegetable stock stirring constantly. When you have poured about half of the stock, throw the mushrooms and raisins.
Now a piece of advice. I cannot really tell you for sure that with this amount of stock, your riso will be cooked just like mine. Risotto is a dish which you have to taste, so as to make sure it’s texture is the right one. After having poured half of the stock, start testing the rice and continue to throw stock until it is creamy outside and a bit firm on the inside.
Good Luck!