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Wild Mushroom Orzotto


Orzotto we use the same cooking method as the risotto, but with orzo.

I don’t know where risottos got their reputation of being difficult to make, but they are not. You just need to follow the process. Once you learn that process, a risotto is a canvas. Then you can start experimenting with different ingredients.

I’ve only found two things to be challenging:

– The washing-up.

– The fact that you have to be present and active during the entire cooking process.


Orzotto With Wild Mushrooms

Earthy flavours from the mushrooms, combined with the creamy texture of the orzo. The definition of comfort food.
Orzotto with wild mushrooms
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 2 people


For the orzotto

  • 150 g orzo
  • 180 g wild mushrooms
  • 1 tsp tarragon
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 4 fresh thyme
  • 1 onion
  • 2 glasses of white wine
  • 50 g parmigianno reggiano (grated)

For the stock

  • 1 litre of cold water
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 5 peppercorns
  • 20 g mushrooms
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 bouquet garni (mix of any herbs you have)


Making the stock - You can skip this step if you have ready made stock but remember, the stock is the 50% of your flavour in this recipe, so choose a good quality stock.

  • Add all the ingredients into a stock pot.
  • Quickly bring to the boil and then lower the heat to simmer.
  • After about 35 minutes the stock should be ready.
  • TIP: Do not add salt to your stock.

Preparing the mushrooms

  • Chefs say that mushrooms shouldn't be washed, but only cleaned with a brush. Do whatever you feel is safe, but do not immerse them into water.
  • Roughly chop the mushrooms and thinly chop the garlic.
  • Heat a pan over high heat and add 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.
  • Add the mushrooms, garlic and fresh thyme (leaves only).
  • Cook for about 5 minutes to get a nice colour on them and then add one glass of white wine.
  • When you can't smell the alcohol, add enough enough stock to cover the mushrooms. Bring to boil and turn down the heat to the lowest setting. Cover with a lid.

Before you start cooking the orzotto

  • We are cooking the orzotto in the same way that we would cook a risotto. This method is very easy, but requires you to be there for the entire cooking time.
  • I have 3 tips:
    1) Always use a wooden spoon.
    2) Do not use a saute pan, as it will make the water evaporate much more easily and the orzo will need more time (and more stock) to cook.
    3) KEEP STIRRING. The biggest risk with orzo is that it could stick to the pan, so you need to keep stirring it and keep it hydrated. Also, make sure you check the corners of your pot.

Cooking the orzotto

  • Thinly chop the onion.
  • Heat a pot over medium heat and add two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.
  • Add the onion. We just want to sweat it, so this should take about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  • Add the orzo and keep stirring for 2-3 minutes until the orzo gets a slightly golden colour.
  • Add some more olive oil if your pot is completely dry.
  • Add 1 glass of white wine and wait until it's absorbed.
  • Once the wine is absorbed and you can't smell the alcohol, start adding your stock.
  • TIP: The stock needs to be warm and not cold. So don't use stock straight out of the fridge.
  • Add enough stock to cover the orzo.
  • Keep stirring until the stock is absorbed.
  • Repeat this process until the orzo is cooked aldente.
  • The whole cooking process should take about 20 mins from start to finish. Exact times can vary, so keep trying the orzo along the way.
  • At around 10 minutes, add the mushrooms and the tarragon.
  • Don't forget to KEEP STIRRING.
  • You can add salt along the way, but please bear 2 things in mind:
    1) Water evaporates, salt doesn't.
    2) We will be adding a good amount of parmesan in the end, which is very salty.
  • When your orzo is cooked aldente, remove from the heat.
  • Add a generous knob of butter and stir until absorbed.
  • Add the parmesan and and some freshly ground pepper. Stir again.
  • Put the lid on and let it rest for 2 mins before serving.
orzotto, orzotto with mushrooms, risotto, Vegetarian

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