Pasta Risotto & You

By Nancy Caivano


Risotto with Chicken,
Wild Mushrooms and Spinach

Serves 6


8 tbsp olive oil, divided
One lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
Salt and pepper
All-purpose flour
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 lb spinach, washed well, stems removed, julienne
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 onion, chopped
One lb fresh exotic mushrooms, sliced (such as crimini, Portobello,
     oyster, morel, stemmed shiitake)
2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 cups simmering chicken stock
3 tbsp butter
3/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese (or Parmesan)
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup parsley, chopped


Heat 4 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour, shaking off excess. Sauté chicken until well browned on both sides. Drain on paper towels. When cool enough to handle, cut into cubes.

In same skillet, heat 2 tbsp olive oil. Add garlic and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook until garlic just begins to brown. Add spinach and cook until wilted, about 5—10 minutes. Stir in lemon juice, season with salt and pepper and set aside.

In a large saucepan, heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, and mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms are browned, about 3—5 minutes. Add rice, stirring constantly, and cook 5 minutes more, making sure rice does not brown. Add wine, stirring constantly, and let totally evaporate. When wine is evaporated, begin adding stock 1/2 cup at a time, letting each addition evaporate before adding the next addition.

After fourth addition of stock is added, begin tasting rice. Rice should be al dente when done. You need to keep tasting rice, because, depending on rice, you may or may not have to use all of the stock. When fourth addition of stock is absorbed, add chicken and spinach.

After last addition of stock is absorbed, remove from heat, and stir in butter, Romano, mozzarella, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

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This page created March 1999