A vegetarian risotto that’s likely to reinvent the way you feel about mushrooms, this mushroom and walnut risotto with Taleggio is ideal for date night, Valentine’s day, or any night you’re in the mood for a delicious treat. Ready in under an hour, this risotto ai funghi pairs well with a glass of wine and a carefree attitude.
Want to Save This Recipe?
Enter your email and I'll send it straight to your inbox. Plus, get great new recipes from me every week!
This is hands down the best vegetarian risotto I've ever had. It is rich, creamy, cheesy, and slightly crunchy at the same time. Eating it is like a symphony of flavours and textures is playing in your mouth.
It's not your regular mushroom risotto, too. It's a rich risotto ai funghi misti, as they call it in Italian, which means that it has multiple types of mushrooms in it. Top that with a tangy, slightly fruity cheese, and you have a winner.
What types of mushrooms go in this risotto?
The possibilities are endless when choosing mushrooms to make this Taleggio risotto. I opted for a combination of chestnut mushrooms and a dried mushrooms mix, but you can also transform it into a risotto ai funghi porcini by making it with just porcini mushrooms and any other kind of fresh mushrooms you want (Portobello, Forestiere and King Oyster mushrooms all work great).
The key here is to use a mix of fresh mushrooms, which will bulk up the risotto, and dried mushrooms, which will bring in some amazing flavour. You'll have to rehydrate the dried mushrooms for about half an hour in freshly boiled water, and you'll also incorporate that water in the risotto for even more flavour. This risotto is truly for one for mushroom lovers!
What is Taleggio cheese and why does it work in risotto?
Just when you thought that mushrooms were the stars of this creamy vegetarian risotto, Taleggio comes in to steal the show.
Taleggio is a type of soft or semi-soft cheese with a history that goes back to Roman times. Its name comes from Val Taleggio, an Alpine valley in Lombardy, where the cheese was first produced.
Taleggio is made from cow's milk and has an intense, tangy flavour and a coarse, edible rind. You'll notice some fruity tones in Taleggio, and the cheese has a buttery, surprisingly mild composition.
The cheese melts well, so if you use Taleggio in a dish like risotto, expect it to melt completely. Besides adding a distinctive flavour to the risotto, Taleggio will also make it incredibly creamy and moreish.
If you can't find Taleggio or don't like its flavour, you can use a cheese similar to Taleggio for this risotto. Options include Fontina, Brie and Bel Paese cheese. All these alternatives are semi soft and they'll provide you with the proper level of creaminess you want in this risotto.
Extra tips for the perfect mushroom and walnut risotto
- You can substitute the water from the rehydrated mushrooms with 100 ml dry white wine.
- The best rice to use for risotto is Carnaroli, which has a higher starch content and retains its shape better, so can really enjoy the al dente texture. However, if you can't find it, Arborio rice would also work.
- This is a vegetarian risotto, but if you're not vegetarian, you can use chicken stock instead of the veggie one.
What wine pairs well with Taleggio risotto?
White wine is often associated with a creamy risotto, with Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio often being my wines of choice for mushroom risotto.
However, the Taleggio in this risotto pairs well with a red wine like Pinot Noir or Cabernet Sauvignon, so don't be afraid to enjoy it with a glass of red.
If you liked this mushroom and walnut risotto with Taleggio, check out some of my other Italian-inspired recipes:
- 25 g (2 tbsp) butter
- 400 g (1 lb) chestnut mushrooms, washed and cut into pieces
- 30 g (1 oz) dried mushrooms (mixed or porcini), rehydrated for 30 minutes in hot water (reserve the water)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, needles only, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 350 g (1 ¾ cup) Carnaroli rice
- 1.2 l (5 cups) vegetable stock
- 125 g (4.4 oz) Taleggio cheese
- 40 g (15 oz) walnuts, toasted and chopped roughly
- Salt and pepper
- In a large pan, melt the butter over medium heat and fry the chestnut mushrooms for 4-5 minutes until they soften.
- Add the rehydrated dried mushrooms and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the garlic and rosemary and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove everything from the pan and set aside.
- In the same pan, heat the olive oil and toast the rice for 1-2 minutes. Add the reserved water from the rehydrated mushrooms and cook until it evaporates.
- Pour ⅓ of the stock into the pan and start stirring. When the liquid is almost absorbed, add more stock. Repeat until you have used all the stock and the rice is al dente. The risotto should be creamy and still have some liquid left.
- Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and tip the mushroom mixture back into the pan. Stir well to incorporate, and then add the Taleggio cheese. Stir it in (it will melt completely), and then add the chopped walnuts.
- Serve the risotto immediately, with extra walnuts on top if you like.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 419Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 42mgSodium: 1289mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 14g
Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator.