Recipe & pairing | Meni Valle's Mushroom Risoni

Vinomofo
By Vinomofo
10 days ago
4 min read

If you can’t escape to the med right now, we’ve got just the ticket - Meni Valle’s The Mediterranean Cook will take you there in a flash. Packed with 75 vegetarian recipes focused on the slow and seasonal, there’s delicious tips on how to make the most of delicious produce available locally, year round. This recipe for Mushroom Risoni had our stomachs rumbling, and our minds turning to a suitably med-inspired pairing.

Pairing tip: The humble mushroom is packed full of umami flavour, and that earthy, savoury profile can be tricky to match - but fear not. Looked for a “developed” (read: has been in the cellar for a few years) red, in particular a pinot noir or nebbiolo. They both develop those mushroomy, forest floor notes with age that’ll compliment everything here deliciously. An aged cab sav will also provide a bit more heft if you’re opting for those denser portobello mushrooms or have a tendency to measure with the heart when adding the cheese (I know I’m guilty). Given the recipe calls for a glass of a white wine, I wouldn’t be saying no to sharing a fuller chardonnay with the saucepan, either. Plenty of options, crack on. - Nick

Try this with:

Ettore Germano Barolo DOCG del Comune di Serralunga d'Alba 2017

Stunning nebbiolo from the 'longest lived' commune of Barolo. In the glass, the colour is a bright ruby garnet. The nose opens up quickly with strawberry, cherry, pomegranate and rose petals. After the few years it already has had in bottle, hints of leather and tobacco have integrated with the dark fruits evident on the palate. The tannins are fine, readily present and elegant. Ettore Germano is one of the most exciting Italian producers we’ve imported to date. If you are into Barolo, this is certainly a must have.

Pierre Naigeon Les Combes Bourgogne Rouge 2018

Hand picked, small batch Burgundy brilliance. This cuvee comes off two small plots nearby the Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru vineyards, at the periphery of the Vosne-Romanée region. What is produced is a nervy, savoury, complex expression of the worlds greatest grape grown in the worlds greatest region.


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MUSHROOM RISONI

As summer gently fades, nature brings us its autumnal treasures and mushrooms begin to emerge with a range of flavours, shapes and textures. There are so many ways to celebrate mushrooms, and this risoni is the perfect comforting autumnal meal – heartwarming, meaty and full of flavour from the shiitake mushrooms.

Serves 4

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 brown onion, finely diced

  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped

  • 200 g (7 oz) shiitake or portobello 

  • mushrooms, sliced or chopped into chunks 

  • 250 g (9 oz) risoni

  • 125 ml (½ cup) white wine

  • 500 ml (2 cups) vegetable stock or water

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley leaves

  • 60 g (2 oz) parmesan, grated (you can also use pecorino, goat’s cheese, gruyere or Greek feta), plus extra shaved parmesan to serve

  • salt and pepper, to taste lemon wedges, to serve

  1. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat, add the onion and saute for 3–4 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and mushroom and saute for 5–6 minutes, until soft.

  2. Add the risoni to the pan and stir well to coat the pasta in the mushroom mixture. Pour in the wine and stir for another 2 minutes. Add the stock or water slowly, stirring as you go, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 12–15 minutes, until the risoni is cooked through. 

  3. Remove the pan from the heat and stir through the parsley and parmesan. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then divide the risoni among plates, top with shaved parmesan and extra pepper, and serve with lemon wedges on the side.


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Recipe & images taken from The Mediterranean Cook by Meni Valle, published by Smith Street Books (RRP $55) available now.

Photography © Stephanie Stamatis and Hugh Davidson.

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