Mushroom Risotto with Pancetta and Sage
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs fresh parsley leaves
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoons soy sauce
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/4 pounds cremini mushrooms , wiped clean with a paper towel, stems discarded, and caps cut into fourths if small or sixths if medium or large
2 medium onions , chopped fine (2 cups)
1/2 teaspoon table salt
3 medium cloves garlic , pressed through garlic press or minced (about 1 tablespoon)
2 ounces pancetta , finely chopped
1 pound Arborio rice (2 1/8 cups)
1 cup dry white wine or dry vermouth
2 ounces Parmesan cheese , finely grated (about 1 cup)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 tablespoon minced fresh sage leaf
Table salt and ground black pepper
Tie together bay leaves and parsley sprigs with kitchen twine. Bring bundled herbs, porcini mushrooms, chicken broth, soy sauce, and 3 1/2 cups water to boil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat; reduce to medium-low and simmer until dried mushrooms are softened and fully hydrated, about 15 minutes. Remove and discard herb bundle and strain broth through fine-mesh strainer set over medium bowl (you should have about 6 1/2 cups strained liquid); return liquid to saucepan and keep warm over low heat. Finely mince porcini and set aside.
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees. Heat 2 tablespoons butter in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When foaming subsides, add cremini mushrooms, 1 cup onions, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until moisture released by mushrooms evaporates and mushrooms are well browned, about 7 minutes. Stir in garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute, then transfer mushrooms to oven-safe bowl and keep warm in oven. Off heat, add 1/4 cup water to now-empty skillet and scrape with wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits; pour liquid from skillet into saucepan with broth.
Cook 2 ounces finely chopped pancetta and 1 tablespoon butter in large saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently, until pancetta has rendered some fat, about 5 minutes. Add remaining 1 cup onions, cooking onions until softened and translucent, about 7 minutes; Add rice and cook, stirring frequently, until grainsâ€™ edges are transparent, about 4 minutes. Add wine and cook, stirring frequently, until rice absorbs wine. Add minced porcini and 3 1/2 cups broth and cook, stirring every 2 to 3 minutes, until liquid is absorbed, 9 to 11 minutes. Stir in additional 1/2 cup broth every 2 to 3 minutes until rice is cooked through but grains are still somewhat firm at center, 10 to 12 minutes (rice may not require all of broth). Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon butter, then stir in mushrooms (and any accumulated juices), Parmesan, chopped parsley, and sage. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper; serve immediately in warmed bowls.
Pairs Well With
Cremini mushrooms are sometimes sold as baby bella mushrooms. If they are not available, button mushrooms make a fine, though somewhat less flavorful, substitute. Toward the end of cooking, judge the doneness of the rice by tasting it.