Ingredients — serves 4:
Rice (special Risotto rice, e.g. Arborio) 320 g
Dried porcini (or milky caps, or shiitake) 20 g
Chestnuts, fresh (or precooked, vacuum pack) 300 g
Butter or ghee 2 tbsp.
Onions 1 medium-size
Pomegranate juice approx.100 ml
Vegetable stock 1 to 1 ½ l
Thyme, fresh 10 sprigs (or to taste)
Garlic 2−3 cloves
Hot chili (or pepperoni) 1 pod
Nutmeg, grated approx. ¼ tsp.
Single cream 200 to 250 ml
Parmesan, grated 1−2 tbsp.
Basil, fresh (for garnish) 3−4 leaves per serving

To cook this delicious dish we will yet need: — a wok (alternatively a thick bottom pot) — a casserole for the vegetable broth — a small pot + a small pan (only if fresh chestnuts used) — 5−6 small bowls to place the pre-processed ingredients

Start with the dried mushrooms: rinse them thoroughly and soak in the cold water for one hour. If you take fresh chestnuts, please note, that your cooking time will be about one hour longer. Wash them thoroughly, slit each crosswise on the bottom, put into a salted water (1 tsp salt for 1 l), bring to a boil and cook about 5 minutes. Drain first, then roast them on a dry (no fat!) pan over a medium heat, till the slits break and crack further and the peel bends slightly outwards. Cool the chestnuts down, peel them completely, chop roughly (approx. small croûton size) and put aside in a bowl. If you use precooked chestnuts: just chop them roughly like above. Bring the vegetable stock to a boil (we will need it hot later) and turn the heat off. Chop the onions and hot chili finely and the mushrooms — more or less roughly and sauté them in the wok with one tablespoon butter or ghee for about 5 minutes. Put the rice (rinsed and drained) to the onions and mushrooms, stir-fry for another half a minute, then deglaze with the pomegranate juice (alternatively cranberry juice) and keep on stirring one or two minutes more. Now pour in the hot vegetable broth, so that the broth is approximately one cm over the rice level, boil up and then turn the heat down to low. The risotto should just simmer. Keep an eye on your rice (stirring it every now and then) and add the small portions of the broth over and over upon absorbing. The rice will need about 15 to 18 until al dente. In the meantime, chop the thyme and garlic finely, place them in a small bowl (or add them to the chopped chestnuts if there is still place enough in the chestnuts bowl). In a separate bowl, mix the single cream with the nutmeg and Parmesan, whisk slightly. As soon as the rice is cooked to al dente, add the chestnuts, garlic and thyme, 1 tablespoon butter, cream-Parmesan sauce, stir everything thoroughly and let the risotto simmer (very low heat) about five to seven minutes more. Check the viscosity: it should be that of a medium-thick porridge — not too thick and dry, but also not soup-like. If needed, adjust with either more of the broth/cream (if too dry) or with cooking couple of minutes longer (in this case turn the heat higher and stir permanently). When ready to serve, garnish on each plate with the basil leaves. Enjoy your meal!