Morel Risotto - Risotto alle Spugnole
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
An approachable yet elegant recipe for a special risotto
Serves: 4 generous portions
  • 2 ounces of dried morel mushrooms
  • 3½ to 4 cups of vegetable or chicken stock, depending upon dietary requirements
  • 6 Tbs. unsalted European butter
  • 3 - 4 shallots finely chopped - about ½ cup
  • 1½ cups Arborio, Carnaroli, or Vialone Nano rice
  • ½ cup dry white wine, preferably Italian wine
  • ½ tsp. saffron threads
  • Fine sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ⅔ cup of freshly grated Parmigiano, Parmigiano for the table
  1. Place 2 plus cups of fresh water in a pot and bring to a boil.
  2. The dried morels or other dried mushrooms should be placed in a ceramic or glass bowl large enough to accommodate the mushrooms and the two cups of boiling water.
  3. Pour 2 cups of boiling water over the mushrooms, placing a smaller plate on top of the morels as they will float to the top. As the submerged mushrooms rehydrate, enjoy the woodsy aroma that will fill your kitchen.
  4. Set a fine strainer over a bowl and remove the rehydrated mushrooms squeezing them over the strainer to extract any water. Some of the mushrooms will be larger than other, cut into pieces to approximately the same size in that case.
  5. Line a fine strainer with a clean chessecloth and pass the mushroom liquid through the cheesecloth lined strainer, you should have 2 cups, if you do not add enough fresh water to makeup the difference.
  6. Arrange the butter, finely chopped shallots, grated cheese, saffron threads, sea salt and pepper mill along side the cooktop.
  7. Heat the 4 cups of broth along with the mushroom liquid in a saucepan on a simmer.
  8. Heat a heavy duty medium sized pot, I generally use a Le Creuset, over medium-low heat, add the butter to melt. Once the butter has melted, add the finely chopped shallots and sauté on Medium-low heat for 5 minutes, you are softening the shallots not browning them.
  9. Add the rehydrated morels to the pan and continue to saute for an additional 5 minutes, stirring frequently to insure that they all have absorbed some of the butter and become flavored by the shallots.
  10. Add the rice and continue to stir, taking care that the rice has been coated with the butter and glistens.
  11. Add the white wine, stirring well & cooking for about 2 to 3 minutes.
  12. Begin to incorporate the warmed stock, starting with about 1 cup. Stir the mixture, gently simmering over low heat until the stock has been almost completely absorbed. Continue to add the heated stock about 1 cup at a time in the same manner. Once the rice mixture seems to have almost absorbed all of the liquid, add more. Continue until the rice is cooked through however maintains an al dente quality. Remove from the heat, add the grated Parmigiano stirring well and serve in warmed individual bowls immediately.
Recipe by LaBellaSorella at