6 cups chicken or beef broth (I use 4 cups of Swanson 99% fat free plus 2 cups of water, but homemade is great, if you have it)
1 cup water
2 oz dried porcini or any wild mushrooms
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup finely minced onion
2 cups arborio or carnaroli rice
1 cup white wine
14 oz fresh mushrooms (at least two types; I use cremini or baby bellas plus white button mushrooms), sliced
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 Tbsp tomato paste
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/3 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated, or more to taste
Black pepper (at least 1/2 tsp or more), to taste
Bring 6 cups of broth (or broth and water) to boil in a large pot and set aside at a simmer on the stove. In a microwave, boil 1 cup water in a glass measuring cup, then add dried mushrooms, and set aside. Heat oil in a large straight-sided sauté pan. Add onion, and sauté until soft. Stir in the rice, making sure to coat each grain, and let toast for 1-2 minutes.
Remove pan from heat, and stir in the wine (watch out for splatters). Keep stirring for a few seconds. When the liquid is absorbed, begin adding broth, 1 ladleful at a time, letting each bit of liquid be absorbed.
In the meantime, when the dried mushrooms are soft, strain and reserve the liquid. After 3 cups of broth are added, pour in the mushroom soaking water, being careful to leave behind the sediment in the bottom of the measuring cup. After 5 cups of broth are added, stir in the fresh mushrooms, thyme and tomato paste. Continue adding one more cup of broth, reserving 1/4 cup. Stir until mushrooms have given off their liquid and almost all of the liquid in the pan has been absorbed by the rice.
Remove pan from heat. Add butter and cheese, and stir vigorously for 2 minutes. Add in reserved 1/4 cup broth, if needed to finish cooking the rice. Season to taste with lots of black pepper, and salt if needed, and serve immediately.