This classic dish gets upgraded to main meal status with the addition of hearty mushrooms, Tuscan kale and crunchy walnuts. It’s so easy to prepare, and better yet, you can have this elegant vegetarian dish ready in about 35 minutes.

This traditional method of making risotto involves standing at the stove and stirring for around 18 minutes. It might seems a little labor intensive compared to low-fuss pastas, but to achieve the signature creamy texture risotto is known for, it’s well worth the effort.

If you’re not vegetarian, and if you want to serve this as a side dish instead, consider pairing it with your favorite chicken Marsala for a tasty Italian combo.

This Tuscan risotto with kale, mushrooms, and walnuts will easily be your new favorite go-to recipe all year long.

TUSCAN RISOTTO WITH KALE, MUSHROOMS, AND WALNUTS

5 cups vegetable or chicken stock

1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped

2 tbsp. and additional 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1/2 pound fresh baby portabella mushrooms, sliced

1/2 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced

1 small onion, finely chopped

2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tbsp. fresh sage, finely chopped

1 tbsp. fresh thyme, finely chopped

Salt and pepper

1 1/2 cups carnaroli or arborio rice

1 1/4 cups dry white wine

4 tbsp. butter, cubed

1 cup fresh grated Pecorino-romano cheese

1 bunch Tuscan kale, rinsed and chopped

Pour stock into a saucepan on medium heat and bring to a low simmer. Keep covered.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread walnuts in a single layer on baking sheet. Roast for 7-10 minutes, or until nuts are lightly darker in color and fragrant.

In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook for about 5-7 minutes, or until lightly browned and tender. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a small bowl.

The kale can be incorporated two different ways. You can saute it along with the mushrooms or add it in about five minutes before the end of cook time at the end.

In the same large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, sage and thyme. Season with salt and pepper.

Add rice and stir to toast for one minute.

Pour in the wine to the rice mixture and cook until wine evaporates and is absorbed by the rice. Stir frequently.

Ladle about 1/2 cup of warm stock over rice mixture, allowing the liquid to be absorbed before adding more. Stir constantly. Repeat this process until the rice is cooked al dente. You may have some leftover stock, so taste often to determine doneness.

Remove from heat. Stir in butter and cheese to melt. Fold in mushrooms and walnuts. Stir and serve immediately.

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