The Cottage Cooking Club: September

Mushroom Risoniotto

In August, I tested out being a guest blogger with The Cottage Cooking Club. Launched in May, this group, led by Andrea of The Kitchen Lioness, is taking one year to collectively cook through Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s cookbook, River Cottage Veg. I enjoyed the recipes I cooked in August and was so enticed by the ones others in the group made that I’ve decided to continue for the rest of the year.

Andrea does a great job of choosing a monthly set of recipes that match what’s in season where I live. Right now, as September is ending, we have had a mix of crisp cool sunny days with some “last-ditch effort” warm days before summer gives up. Uncharacteristically, it’s in the eighties today, more hot than warm. The USDA says our first frost date is October 15. Soon enough, the leaves will change color and fall, and the garden will take its well-deserved winter’s rest, so I’m enjoying these remnants of summer while they last.

For September, I committed to making Mushroom Risoniotto. This dish is inspired by risotto, but instead of the Arborio rice, its base is cooked orzo (also known as risoni), rice-shaped pasta. The pasta is tossed with a rich, earthy, creamy mushroom sauce.

Mushrooms Under the Rainbow!

Mushrooms Under the Rainbow!

To start, mixed mushrooms are sautéed in butter and oil. Wild mushrooms are recommended. I was hoping for some shiitake and oyster mushrooms to add to the mix, but the store I went to (not my usual market) only had white button mushrooms and cremini so I used what I found, half and half. Once the mushrooms are caramelized, garlic, thyme and balsamic vinegar are added, followed by some wine. I didn’t have white wine, but the Madeira I used added a rich undertone to the sauté. Finally, a touch of cream is mixed in for a delicious sauce. To finish, the cooked pasta is stirred into the sauce and topped with chopped parsley.

It’s been a while since I’ve made a new side dish recipe I’ve enjoyed as much as this one. It was so easy to prepare, and its flavors are an invitation to the cooler weather of fall. While I served this as an accompaniment to grilled steak and salad caprese, a larger portion served with a green salad would also make a hearty meal. Risoniotto has earned a place in the cool weather rotation in my kitchen.

Delicious New Side Dish

The recipe can be found on-line here or on page 258 of River Cottage Veg. To see what the other group members made and how it turned out, check out their links here. I can’t wait to see what October brings!


Posted on 28 September 2014, in Cottage Cooking Club and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Hi Betsy, I just glanced at FB and saw this recipe. It is a very simple one, but looks
    so good. Jim loves orzo so I am going to try this. I also did not know the correct
    name for orzo. Oh, the things we learn from this blogging…..

  2. Hi Betsy, it seems flavoring out on the Madeira for the wine and I suspect that provide a greater depth of flavor towards this dish. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Your risoniotto looks fabulous and I can imagine just how delicious it must have been with the Madeira. It was one of my favourite dishes this month.

  4. The risotto sounds wonderful – I need to get back in the CCC swing of things. We are home now for a while, so hopefully I can get back on track!

  5. I made this one too and we loved it in our house. Didn’t think to serve as a side, great idea!!

  6. thekitchenlioness

    Betsy, how wonderful that you enjoyed this recipe as well – this is really great as a side dish but you are absolutely right, with a nice seasonal side-salad, this is also great as the main player – I have already made it twice because the kids are crazy about the risoni now – I will choose a variety of mushrooms next time I make this – see whether that makes it even better.
    We have had unseasonally warm weather around here – sun it still shining a lot and it looks like late summer outside rather than fall!
    Thank you for participating again this month, always such a pleasure to cook along with you!
    “See” you on Friday!

  7. What a sweet post, Betsy. I will have to try this one. I only did the chili for our monthly CCC pics. This looks so yummy. Will pick up some mushrooms on my way home tonight!

  8. We enjoyed this one as well. I loved the simplicity of this recipe. Looks lovely served as a side dish – we had it as our main.

  9. This dish provided another learning experience for me, Betsy, because I had not heard the term “risoniotto” before as another name for orzo. Everyone who made the recipe as a Setember choice really, really enjoyed it. Sooooo it is another menu idea to put on my to-do List. Like you, I am always looking for good sides and this appears to be a winner. I am so pleased that you have decided to continue with Hugh’s book and our Club. I like this cookbook and look forward to making more recipes with you thoughout the year.

  10. Betsy, I’m so glad you enjoyed this. I love (!) the idea of the Madeira. I think it would really add to the depth of flavor. I did like this (even the leftovers), but I kind of wished I had some aged Parmesan, or something to go with. I served mine with artichokes, which turned out to be a good combination as well.

    I’m glad that you’re sticking with us! I have to say I’ve really enjoyed this book, and I really like being pushed to add more vegetable dishes. So happy that you are having fun with this as well!

  11. Hi Betsy, I’ve been traveling and had not yet commented on your delicious looking mushroom risoniotto, love orzo, will have to make this dish.

  12. That looks fantastic! Orzo is delicious and I think the Madeira must have put it over the top.

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