The Washington Post

Mushroom "Risoniotto"

Mushroom "Risoniotto" 2.000

Scott Suchman for The Washington Post; styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Eat Voraciously Newsletter Weeknight Vegetarian Jun 5, 2013

Risoni, or orzo as it's more commonly called in the States, is quicker and easier to cook than rice.

Here, the rice-shaped pasta is combined with a rich mushroom ragout. Use a dark and flavorsome variety of mushroom, such as cremini, portobello or shiitake. Cooking the mushrooms in two batches will keep you from making more of a mushroom stew.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 2 servings

  • 2 tablespoons canola or olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 pound mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed and thickly sliced (see headnote), divided
  • 5 ounces (about 2/3 cup) dried risoni or orzo
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Leaves from a few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • About 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • Scant 1/4 cup heavy cream or crème fraîche
  • Fine sea or table salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped, for serving


Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil over high heat.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil and melt half of the butter. Add half of the mushrooms and cook briskly, stirring often, until they give off their liquid and the mushrooms are starting to caramelize. Transfer to a dish, and repeat with the remaining oil, butter and mushrooms.

When the second batch of mushrooms is nearly cooked, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to package instructions until al dente (or maybe 1 to 2 minutes from being fully cooked).

Return the first batch of mushrooms to the skillet. Add the garlic, thyme and balsamic vinegar and cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the wine and cook until there is almost no liquid left, about 1 minute. Add the heavy cream or creme fraiche, reduce the heat to medium and stir until the sauce is gently simmering. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Drain the pasta as soon as it is al dente. Add to the mushroom mixture and toss well. Serve hot, sprinkled with the chopped parsley.

Recipe Source

Adapted from "River Cottage Veg: 200 Inspired Vegetable Recipes," by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (Ten Speed Press, 2013).

Tested by Joe Yonan.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving: 600

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 31g 48%

Saturated Fat: 11g 55%

Cholesterol: 50mg 17%

Sodium: 160mg 7%

Total Carbohydrates: 62g 21%

Dietary Fiber: 5g 20%

Sugar: 5g

Protein: 17g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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