by Hara Dretaki
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 cups vegetable stock or mushroom stem stock
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoons garlic
- 2 cups shiitake mushroom caps, thinly sliced
- 1 small bell pepper, red or green, seeded and thinly sliced or cubed
- Sea salt
- Black pepper, freshly ground
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 1 cup peas
- Grated Parmesan, pecorino Romano, or ricotta salata
For a creamy risotto it is important to use the right kind of rice, Arborio, and stir frequently to break out the starch of the grain into the broth. If you are looking for a healthier version, substitute pearled barley but keep in mind it will take longer to cook.
In a medium saucepan, add the wine, stock, and water. Bring to a boil and continue to simmer on low heat. In a large soup pot, melt the butter. Add the garlic, shiitakes, bell pepper, and rice. Stir until all is well coated. Add a ladleful of the stock, bring to a boil, reduce heat. Stir frequently making sure the rice does not stick to the pot and the liquid gets absorbed. Add the remaining stock in the same manner until the rice is cooked but slightly chewy, about 20-25 minutes. In the last five minutes, add the peas. Season with salt and pepper to taste, keeping in mind that the cheese will add saltiness to the dish. Serve in soup bowls and sprinkle with grated cheese.