Dana Slatkin

Fresh Tomato Basil Risotto with Porcini Mushrooms

Tomato Basil Porcini Risotto

I’m going to let you in on a little secret, but you have to promise to keep it between us. Because if the tour buses start descending on this little gourmet treasure, I’m in trouble.

Tucked into a small strip of offices on an innocuous street in Santa Monica, Guidi Marcello is a darling little pezzo of Italy. Decidedly unpretentious, this gourmet emporium and deli, barely a quarter of the size of Bay Cities just around the corner, is stocked floor to ceiling with olive oils and vinegars, cured meats like guanciale, imported ladyfingers for making tiramisú, exotic truffle confections (white truffle honey!), and hundreds of other foods and wines from all parts of Italy. The son of the founder, Marco Guidi, will want to ply you with all kinds of tastes, so go hungry. The fennel biscotti made by his daughter were addictive, and the imported Taleggio was the creamiest cheese ever. Prices are very reasonable.

Tomato Basil Porcini Risotto 2

Fresh porcini mushrooms are just about as rare a find as a truffle (and nearly as expensive), so I couldn’t resist a small bag of frozen ones. I decided to feature them in a light summer dish, something flavorful but not too heady. So I defrosted them, dried them well, and added them to this delicious, creamy tomato risotto. If you’re lucky enough to get your hand on some fresh porcinis, try them in this dish. But don’t go looking for them at Guidi Marcello. Really, you’ll love this risotto without them.

Have a bumper basil harvest? Try our Basil Pesto and Ricotta Cheese with Warm Ciabatta Bread.

Photo credit: deliciousmagazine.co.uk and tastespotting.com

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