Mushroom Risoniotto (from River Cottage Veg Everyday)
2 tbsp rapeseed or olive oil
A knob of butter
500g mixed mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed and thickly sliced
150g orzo pasta
2 garlic cloves, chopped
A few sprigs of thyme, leaves only
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
75ml dry white wine
50ml crème fraîche
salt and pepper
flat-leaf parsley, chopped, to serve
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil and half the butter in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add half the mushrooms and cook briskly, stirring often, until all the liquid released has evaporated and the mushrooms are starting to caramelise. Transfer to a dish and repeat with the rest of the oil, butter and mushrooms. (Cooking in two batches like this avoids overcrowding the pan and ensures the mushrooms do not stew.)
When the second batch of mushrooms are nearly cooked, add the pasta to the pan of boiling water and cook until al dente. Return the first lot of mushrooms to the frying pan. Add the garlic, thyme and balsamic vinegar and cook, stirring, for a minute or two. Add the wine and cook until there is almost no liquid left. Add the cream or crème fraîche, reduce the heat a little and stir until it is just about simmering. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Drain the pasta as soon as it is cooked, add to the mushroom mixture and toss well. Serve scattered with lots of chopped parsley.