Rice and Grains


Black rice, pumpkin and wild mushrooms; ingredients for an enchanted risotto to serve on Halloween.


  • 4 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 lb butternut, honey nut or acorn squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1/2 chunks
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 8 oz mixed fresh mushrooms: Shiitake, chanterelle, beech, oyster, baby portabella etc., cleaned and
  • sliced if large
  • pinch of sea salt
  • leaves from a sprig of thyme
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups Campanini Venere Nero Black Rice
  • 1/2 cup of dry white wine or vermouth
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan


Time: 1 hour
Yield: 6
  • Bring the water to a boil along with the bay leaf, thyme and the pinch of salt.
  • Add the squash and cook until soft but not mushy,
  • Remove squash and set a side, reserving the cooking liquid. Lower it to a soft simmer.
  • Melt the butter over medium heat. When the foam subsides add the shallot and the mushrooms. The mushrooms may give up some water. When it has evaporated, remove them from the pan, reserve and season with the salt, pepper and thyme.
  • Add the rice to the pan. Add another tablespoon of butter if the pan is dry. Stir until the grains are coated. Add the wine and stir until it is evaporated / incorporated into the rice. Add a ladle full of the stock from the squash, stirring until it is nearly absorbed Then repeat until most of the stock is incorporated. The rice should have a creamy softness to the exterior while still retaining a bite inside.
  • Stir in the grated cheese, the squash and the mushrooms. Heat for 2 or 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the risotto rest for 2 or 3 minutes more.
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