Butternut Squash and Porcini Risotto

Risotto in the pressure cooker is a Dream!

2 tbsp butter
1 leek, sliced thin
3/4 c arborio rice
1/4 c dry vermouth
2 c vegetable broth
2 cups butternut squash, shredded
1/2 oz drid porchini, crumbled
1 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp saffron threads
1/2 c parmesan cheese, grated

Melt butter over medium sauté in your multicooker. Add leek and cook until soft. Add rice and stir until coated in butter. Stir in vermouth and fully absorbed by th rice. Add broth, squash, porcini, thyme and saffron. 

Set on high pressure (9-11 psi) for 10 minutes. 

Stir in cheese and serve.

Serves 4.


Ricotta Pancakes and Mushroom Tomato Sauce

This one was inspired by Jaime Oliver. It’s quick, healthy and delicious.

I c dried porcini mushrooms
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 TBSP anchovy paste
28 oz tomatoes chopped
1 bunch of basil, chopped
Red pepper flakes to taste
Salt and pepper
16 oz ricotta cheese
1 egg
4 oz Pamegiano, grated
2 tsp nutmeg
2 TBSP flour
Salt and pepper

Soak mushrooms in a mug of hot water for 5 minutes.

Combine remaining sauce ingredients in a medium pot over medium heat. Strain mushrooms and pour liquid into sauce, chop mushrooms and add to sauce.

Meanwhile, combine the pancake ingredients. Heat 1 TBSP olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Drop 1/4 c mounds flatten and cook for 4 – 5 minutes per side until lightly brown.

To serve, spoon sauce into a bowl and top with fritters.

Serves 4.

Porcini & Eggplant Meatballs in Tomato Sauce


I love meatless Monday! It’s a healthy way to kick start the week. This dish is adapted from Food & Wine Magazine, and trust me you are not going to miss the meat! It does take about 2 hours total, but most of the time is hands off. This dish makes great leftovers for a healthy lunch. My meat loving hubby even asked when I was making these again! Winner Winner Veggie Dinner!

2 – 3 small eggplants (1/12 lbs)
1 oz dried porcini mushrooms,
2 TBSP olive oil
2 small onion,minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 28-ounce cans imported whole Italian tomatoes, puréed with juice
2 c breadcrumbs
2 large eggs (beaten),
2 c Italian cheese, grated (I used a combo of Pecorino Romano, Parmesan and Asiago)
3 TBSP parsley, chopped
all purpose flour
salt, pepper and chilli pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees; prick the eggplant all over with a fork and set it on a baking sheet. Roast in the center of oven for approximately 1 hour until very soft and collapsed. Let cool slightly, then slice open eggplant and scrape the flesh into a large bowl and let cool completely. Discard the skin, purée the eggplant.

Meanwhile in heat proof bowl, cover the dried porcini mushrooms with 1 1/2 c of boiling water and let stand until softened, approximately 30 minutes. Drain through a cheesecloth lined sieve, reserve the soaking liquid. Rinse the porcini to remove any grit, then finely chop the mushrooms.

In a 12 inch skillet heat olive oil until shimmering. Add the onion, half the garlic, salt and pepper and chilli pepper flakes, cook over moderately high heat, keep stirring until softened (5 minutes). Add the tomato puree and pour in the porcini soaking liquid, bring it to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally until thickened, approximately 1 hour.

To prepare the “meatballs”: Fold the chopped porcini, bread crumbs, eggs, cheese, parsley, remaining garlic and chopped basil into the eggplant. Season with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Line the baking sheet with wax paper. Form the eggplant mixture into 2 inch balls, rolling tightly. Dust them with flour lightly and refrigerate for 20 minutes – 3 hours.

In a large non stick skillet heat 1 – 2 TBSP of olive oil over medium heat – add meatballs but do not overcrowd the pan (you may need to do two batches). Cook for about 10 minutes turning to brown on all sides. Add to tomato sauce.

Serve with a little cheese on top.

Serves 4 – 6.