Mushroom Orzo Risotto
- Sauté the mushrooms: (SEE NOTES before proceeding) Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Working in two batches, add half the mushrooms and cook, UNDISTURBED, for 4-5 minutes, or until they begin to turn golden and release their liquid. Stir and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are crisp but still moist, about 3-4 additional minutes. Season generously with salt and pepper. Use a slotted spoon to remove the mushrooms and transfer them to a bowl. Repeat with another tablespoon of butter and remaining mushrooms. Set bowl of mushrooms aside.
- Sauté vegetables: Melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter in the same pan you used to cook the mushrooms. Add in the shallots. Sauté, stirring occasionally until softened, about 2 minutes. Add in the garlic and season with salt and pepper. Sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Toast orzo: Add in the orzo and thyme. Stir and cook until the orzo is golden and toasted, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add liquid: Add in ½ cup of broth to deglaze the pan. Use the back of a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan. Stir in the lemon juice and zest. Season with salt and pepper. Slowly pour in the remaining 3 ¼ cups of broth. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat. Simmer, stirring often, for 9-11 minutes or until orzo is al dente and pasta is creamy.
- Add cream: Stir in the cream and parmesan. Cook, stirring, until liquid is creamy, about 2 minutes. If orzo thickens up, add a bit of cream or broth – you want the pasta to be creamy, yet not too thick.
- Add mushrooms: Turn off the heat and add the mushrooms and parsley. Stir gently to combine.
- Serve: Remove from heat and drizzle with truffle oil to taste. Taste orzo and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve with additional parmesan, fresh herbs and truffle oil on the side. Enjoy!
- You can use any combination of mushrooms you like, or just one variety of mushroom. I used a combination of shiitake and baby bella (cremini) mushrooms. Please see the post for a complete list of mushroom varieties you can choose from.
- If your saucepan is narrow, you need to cook the mushrooms in two batches or they will steam instead of turning golden brown. The recipe is written based on using a narrow saucepan and cooking the mushrooms in two batches. If you have a wide pan and can fit all the mushrooms in a single layer, just omit 1 tablespoon of butter from the ingredients and don’t worry about repeating the mushroom cooking process in step 1 – cook them all at once with 1 tablespoon of butter.
- While this recipe does not use any wine, feel free to substitute a 1/4 of a cup of the broth for white wine if desired!