Orzo with Porcini Mushrooms

We can’t get enough of the powerful umami flavor of dried porcini mushrooms. But there’s a cooking trick to get all the depth of mushroomy aromas out of them. We always soak the porcini in abundant water, extracting what looks like a very dark and incredibly intense broth. That’s a game-changer! The rustic grains of Orzo will absorb all the porcini broth, enhancing their nutty notes and reaching an absolutely smooth and creamy consistency.

Ingredients

SERVES: 4 people
TIME: 1 hour

1/2 cups of Bio Alberti Barley (300 gr/10 oz)
1 bag Dried Porcini Mushrooms (50 gr/1.7 oz)
1 onion, chopped finely
4 tablespoons of finely chopped parsley
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup of grated Vacche Rosse Cheese
Sea salt
Black pepper

Preparation

  • Break the bigger pieces of Dried Porcini Mushrooms with your hands and soak all the content of the bag for 20 minutes in 4 cups of clean water.
  • Set rehydrated Porcini aside and keep Porcini soaking water, drain it, salt it, and warm it up for cooking the orzo.
  • In a pan, heat EVOO over medium-low heat and add the onions. Cook until translucent (about 3 minutes).
  • Add the barley to the pan and quickly toast on high flame for about 2 minutes.
  • Add warm soaking water two ladles at a time, always keeping barely covered with water, and simmer on low flame.
  • If soaking water is not enough, add more warm salted water or broth.
  • When barley is almost cooked (approx. 20 minutes), add Porcini Mushrooms and adjust with sea salt, and black pepper. Stir for about 10 minutes, until creamy.
  • Off the stove, add parsley, Vacche Rosse cheese, and a drizzle of EVOO. Stir, then keep covered for a couple of minutes.
  • Serve hot with a sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley and a final touch of EVOO.