Risotto Ai Funghi - La Gaffe Restaurant & Hotel

Autumn is such a beautiful, inviting season that she really does make it so much easier for me to say goodbye to my beloved, fun, happy and hot summer! Here come pretty floral dresses, covered with chunky cardis & jumpers, knee high boots, gloves and long walks amongst fiery reds, cerise, deep browns and gold! I'm looking forward to all the warming, comforting foods coming my way too and thought to celebrate the first day of autumn, by making this wonderful Risotto Ai Funghi recipe Alfredo made us at La Gaffe Italian Restaurant and Hotel.

La Gaffe is one of the few eateries in London that holds such a warm place in my heart. It is here where we would come to eat on the weekends when I was little, and a place to come to after other bars shut for drinks when I was a teenager; a place where we would all gather and chat and be merry. The atmosphere was just buzzing and oh so bohemian and it wasn't just from us, it was from within the walls, and the memories made then and before. The Beatles would eat and drink here, Peter O'Toole, would have his own special table, actors and playwrights and musicians alike would stay at the hotel too. After my teens, some of us left London, and the UK, but til this day, when people visit the UK, they will call me and say, 'I'll be at La Gaffe!'
Of course, since my teenage years, I have had many a drinks and snacks at the bar catching up with friends on some evenings, coffees with fellow Hampstonians in the day, or by myself when I feel like some refuge, and enjoy many a glorious dinners throughout the years too.(including the Fettuccine Salmone, Spaghetti Pescatore and Ravvioli Rosa!)

So, you see, La Gaffe is more to me than just somewhere to eat and drink, it is a part of me.

Ok, so back to the Risotto Ai Funghi! Below is the recipe, though it's a casual one as I just noted these things down quickly, it's worked beautifully! Just like the one I tasted when Alfredo made it! To help give you more of an idea of the recipe, do watch Alfredo cooking the risotto in conjunction with the recipe here; and watch me stir it a bit!)  Watch me stir! . Also, Lorenzo, one of the owners' sons, tells us of the story of  how his parents met (it involves a lobster!) and why La Gaffe is called La Gaffe!

The Recipe:

What you need for two hungry people! :

  • Half a large onion - finely chopped
  • Garlic - 1 teaspoon of crushed garlic
  • Chilli - 1 teaspoon crushed chilli or 1 tablespoon chilli powder
  • Olive oil - 2 tablespoons
  • Button Mushrooms - 1 cup, chopped
  • Porcini Mushrooms - a small handful, Alfredo says, as he says they have a very strong flavor.
*make sure you soak and then wash the porcini mushrooms thoroughly before cooking
  • Arborio Rice - two ramkin cup full
  • vegetable stock - Knorr cubes will do! (approximately 6 ladle full)
  • Fresh Parsley -  finely chopped - 1 tablespoon
  • Dried Oregano - a pinch!
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

What to do:
  • Put the oil, chopped onion, garlic and chilli in frying pan and cook on medium heat until onions are golden
  • Add both mushrooms
  • Cook for about two minutes
  • Add the rice and stir and let it cook for approximately 30 seconds
  • Add stock as you cook You can see how Alfredo adds stock to his Risotto here!
  • Add salt & Pepper 
  • Let it cook on low/medium heat for about 8-10 minutes 
  • Do stir and add stock to make sure it doesn’t burn
  • After cooking like this for about 10 minutes add a pinch of dried oregano and a tablespoon of fresh chopped parsley 
  • After cooking for approx 12 minutes, or when you see the risotto is just past al dente, add a large handful of grated Parmesan and dish immediately!
Garnish with rocket, Parmesan shavings and lemon!

Buon Appetito!

*My Risotto
*Alfredo's Risotto

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