Years ago my brother perfected a risotto recipe. Not too long after, my mom decided to attempt it. I had never even thought about cooking risotto, as it was something I viewed as timely, difficult and reserved as my mom and/or brother’s specialty. However, all that changed after Jonty’s risotto craving for the past little while.

As dinner time approached, we debated the popular questions of “what’s for dinner?” “Should we cook or go out?” Yes, going out can be the easier and tastier option, but Jonty and I like to think that our homemade meals are just as delicious, and usually even better than a restaurant! Jonty’s automatic suggestion was that we make risotto. Although my mom and brother’s recipes are mouthwatering, I decided to try out a different one, by one of my favourite chefs, Giada De Laurentiis.

Mushroom risotto is a pretty popular choice, and Giada’s recipe looked absolutely to die for! We did make some changes to the recipe, which I will describe below.

Accompanying our risotto was a mixed green salad topped with homemade crostini. We thinly sliced a french baguette, drizzled with olive oil and stuck them in the oven for about 10 minutes to get crispy. After adding them to the salad, we gave it a light toss in balsamic vinegar and our simple side salad (say that 10 times fast!) was ready to eat.


You’d never know this was our first shot at risotto after tasting this exquisite meal. It tasted so creamy and comforting, with the shrimp adding an extra bang of flavour and texture!

Here is the recipe


  • 8 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 1/2-ounce dried porcini mushrooms (we used fresh cremini mushrooms)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups finely chopped onions
  • 10 ounces white mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups Arboria rice or short-grain white rice
  • 2/3 cup dry white wine
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas, thawed (we omitted the peas)
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, optional
  • Shrimp (as many as you’d like)


Bring the broth to a simmer in a heavy medium saucepan. Add the mushrooms Set aside until the mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes. Keep the broth warm over very low heat.

Melt the butter in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add olive oil. Add the onions and saute until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the mushrooms and garlic. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the porcini mushrooms to a cutting board. Finely chop the mushrooms and add to the saucepan. Saute until the mushrooms are tender and the juices evaporate, about 5 minutes. Stir in the rice and let it toast for a few minutes. Add the wine; cook until the liquid is absorbed, stirring often, about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of hot broth; simmer over medium-low heat until the liquid is absorbed, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Continue to cook until the rice is just tender and the mixture is creamy, adding more broth by cupfuls and stirring often, about 28 minutes (the rice will absorb 6 to 8 cups of broth). Stir in the peas. Mix in the parmesean. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

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