Posts Tagged ‘Italian recipes’

Mushroom Arancini with Cremini Tomato Sauce from Eat Live Travel Write

Today’s post comes to you from Mardi at Eat. Live. Travel. Write.

For my second post here on The Mushroom Channel, I am sharing a recipe that combines some old favourite flavours with some new inspiration.  I have wanted to make arancini (Italian rice balls) for some time now but it calls for leftover risotto and we never have any leftovers!  On returning home from a recent trip to California, three things were in my favour with regards to making arancini – firstly, I hadn’t cooked for over two weeks and was missing my kitchen. Standing over the stove making a big pot of risotto sounded like a pretty good place to be.  Secondly, whilst in San Francisco, I had the good fortune to visit Far West Fungi in The Ferry Building, where I picked up golden chanterelles, dried morels and some porcini mushroom stock cubes that are hard to find in Toronto.

Thirdly, I had some St André cheese and some fresh cremini mushrooms in the fridge needing to be used up.  I got to thinking that the chanterelles would be a perfect addition to a favourite mushroom risotto, whilst the morels and St André would make an excellent filling for the rice balls. You could, of course, use any type of dried mushroom you like.  I started out by making the risotto the day before I needed it for the arancini.  It was difficult not to eat it then and there!

Mushroom Risotto (Serves 6)

This is the first risotto I learned how to make – adapted from a Joan Campbell recipe my mum sent me to Paris with when I moved there in 1994, photocopied from a magazine- I still have the piece of paper!  It might be an oldie but it’s a goodie!  This adaptation of the recipe is a fabulous dish for vegetarians at a dinner party but one that even die-hard carnivores love too!  It is so simple; it has become our “go-to” recipe, even for weeknights.  It’s simple but elegant and very classy.


  • 1 litre mushroom stock
  • 650mls water
  • ½ stick (3 tablespoons) butter
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 small onions, peeled and finely diced
  • salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • ½ cup of dry white wine
  • small pinch saffron
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
  • 3/4 cup chopped mushrooms (I used dried golden chanterelle mushrooms soaked in water for about 30 minutes)

Bring water and vegetable stock to a boil.  Add the saffron to the stock.  Cover and keep warm.

Meanwhile, melt butter and olive oil in a large, heavy saucepan.  Fry onion until it is translucent.  Add the Arborio rice and season with salt and pepper.  Mix so that onion and rice are well combines and the grains of rice are well coated.

Add the wine and stir until the wine has nearly evaporated.  Add a ladleful of the stock/water and mix until it has been absorbed.  Add another ladleful and continue, a ladleful at a time until all stock has been used.  Risotto should be slightly al dente (chewy).  Stir in the drained and roughly chopped chanterelles and cheese and remove from the heat.

The next day I got to work on the arancini.  For the filling, I used about 15g of the morels, soaked in boiling water for about 30 minutes, then drained and roughly chopped and about 16 small cubes of the St André.  This amount of risotto made 10 generous arancini, so 10 starters or 5 main courses.  I prepared the eggs for dipping (4 eggs, beaten) and the panko breadcrumbs (you can use ordinary ones but I like the texture of panko).

I wanted them to be about the size of small oranges so I took some of the mixture and flattened it in my palm, then added the filling.  I took about the same amount of mixture again and placed it on top of the fillings and squeezed hard to form tightly compacted arancini. I heated some olive oil in a shallow pan whilst I dipped the arancini in egg and the panko.  They took about 20 minutes to fry evenly all over at a medium heat.

Tomato and Fresh Cremini Mushroom Sauce


  • 16oz can peeled tomatoes
  • a generous handful of basil
  • 4 garlic cloves,
  • 3/4 cup fresh cremini mushrooms, roughly diced

Heat tomatoes, basil and garlic over medium heat until bubbling, reduce temperature and blend with an immersion blender.  Add the diced mushrooms and continue to reduce to desired consistency.  I like a runnier sauce so don’t reduce it that much.  Top the arancini with the sauce and some fresh basil.

This was an incredible dish – your carnivore friends will never even miss the meat because of the meaty mushrooms in the filling, the risotto and the sauce – and the best part? The morel and St André surprise inside.

A lovely dish to make with your leftover risotto – that is if you have any! – or simply to make from scratch.  Served with simple salad leaves, it’s a perfect light meal where mushrooms really are the star of the dish.

Fettucine Profumate by Paula of Bell'Alimento

Editor’s Note: Today’s post is the first recipe from Paula of the Italian cooking blog Bell’Alimento.  Incidentally, this is a beautiful site to bookmark if you do not have pasta sauce coursing through your veins and could use a little help preparing gorgeous Italian meals like this one.

Fettucine Profumate… Is Italian for Aromatic or Perfumed Fettucine. And I can’t think of a better description than aromatic. You’ll be smelling this one long before it’s on the table. It’s an incredibly creamy, flavorful and filling dish that’s chock full of mushroom flavor! You’ll only need a small bowl of this! You’ll want more but a small bowl will do the trick *wink wink*

I love the baby bellas or crimini in this dish but feel free to substitute button mushrooms if that’s what you have on hand. The hardest part of making this dish is the mincing and chopping. Once you’ve done that it’s smooth sailing. You can use any type of broth that you like, I used chicken broth here. Also, if you don’t have any truffle oil on hand you can easily swap it out for a good quality extra virgin olive oil. I just like upping the mushroom ante!


What you’ll need:

  • 1 pound of Fettucine Nests
  • 8 ounces Baby Bella {Crimini} Mushrooms – roughly chopped
  • 1 small carrot – peeled and minced
  • 2 stalks celery – minced
  • 1 small onion – minced
  • 1 clove garlic – minced
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 ounce grappa
  • 1 tablespoon fresh flat leaf Italian parsley – chopped
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch {dissolved in 2 tablespoons of water}
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons truffle oil
  • 1 cup broth
  • 1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano – grated
  • salt and pepper

What to do:

Gently wipe your mushrooms clean with a paper towel. Into a large sauté pan heat butter and truffle oil over medium heat. When melted add the mushrooms, carrot, celery, onion, garlic and parsley. Stir to combine. Allow to cook until onions begin to turn translucent and vegetables begin to soften, just a few minutes, stirring as necessary. Season lightly with salt. Remove pan from heat and pour the grappa in. Mix well and carefully return to heat and cook until grappa has evaporated. Add broth lower heat slightly and allow to cook for approx 10 minutes, stirring as necessary. Add the corn starch {which has been dissolved in water} and mix together until it thickens. When thickened, add cream, Parmigiano and season lightly with pepper. Reduce heat to lowest setting and allow to simmer for approx 5 minutes.

WHILE sauce is nearing the final stages cook your pasta in generously seasoned water until al dente. Drain well and add to the sauce pan. Toss well to combine. Transfer to serving bowl, garnish with additional Parmigiano if desired and serve immediately.

Buon Appetito!