Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions sauté until the onions start to get soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute
Add the rice, stir to get it evenly coated with onion mixture, about 2 minutes. Add ⅓ cup of wine, cook until it is absorbed.
Add a ladle or two of broth to the rice, stir in and cook until the broth is absorbed. Add another ladle of broth and repeat process. Stir frequently throughout the risotto cooking.
Once all or most of the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender to the bite, you are ready for the mushrooms & finishing touches. This takes about 30 minutes.
Get the mushrooms going as you gradually ladle the broth into the risotto. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a skillet, then add the shallot, cook until softened, 3-5 minutes.
Stir in the mushrooms, cook until they begin to soften about 5 minutes.
Stir in the remaining ⅓ cup red wine and add the thyme. Cook about 5 minutes until the wine is mostly absorbed, then melt in the tablespoon of butter. When the butter has melted, keep the mushrooms on low heat to keep warm.
Finish the risotto: Stir the mushrooms into the cooked rice, then stir in the cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve with a Barolo!
You can also cook the mushrooms in the risotto pot, adding them after the onions and before the rice. I like the flavor a bit better the way we give the instructions above, but doing it in one pot is convenient. This Chicken and Mushroom Risotto is done that way, consult the recipe for more details on the process.
Keywords: risotto, mushroom risotto, wine pairing for mushroom risotto, Barolo