**Risotto with Mushroom Cream Sauce Recipe**
For the Risotto:
- 2 cups Arborio rice
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup dry white wine (optional)
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the Mushroom Cream Sauce:
- 1 pound mushrooms (such as cremini or button), cleaned and sliced
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- Salt and pepper to taste
Optional Spinach Addition:
- 2 cups fresh spinach leaves, washed and chopped
**For the Risotto:**
1. In a saucepan, heat the chicken stock over medium heat. Once warm, reduce the heat to low to keep it simmering.
2. In a large, deep skillet or wide pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
3. Add the minced garlic and Arborio rice to the skillet. Stir and cook for about 2 minutes, until the rice is lightly toasted and coated with oil.
4. If using wine, pour it into the skillet and stir until it's mostly absorbed by the rice.
5. Begin adding the warm chicken stock, one ladleful at a time, stirring frequently. Allow the liquid to be absorbed before adding more stock. Continue this process until the rice is creamy and cooked to your desired consistency, about 18-20 minutes.
6. Stir in the grated Parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.
**For the Mushroom Cream Sauce:**
1. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the sliced mushrooms and sauté until they release their moisture and start to brown, about 6-8 minutes.
2. As the mushrooms brown, add a splash of water to deglaze the pan. Allow the water to evaporate, stirring the mushrooms to scrape up any browned bits.
3. Repeat the process of adding water and deglazing two or three more times, until the mushrooms are deeply browned and flavorful.
4. Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms and stir to coat. This will help thicken the cream sauce.
5. Pour in the heavy cream while stirring continuously. Allow the sauce to simmer and thicken for about 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
**Optional Spinach Addition:**
1. If adding spinach to the risotto, fold in the chopped spinach leaves gently after you've added the Parmesan cheese. The residual heat from the risotto will wilt the spinach without making the risotto too liquid.
2. Cover the risotto for a couple of minutes to allow the spinach to wilt slightly, then give it a gentle stir.
Serve the creamy risotto in individual plates, drizzle with the mushroom cream sauce, and garnish with additional grated Parmesan cheese if desired. The earthy flavors of the mushrooms and the creamy texture of the risotto will make for a delightful meal.