Risotto with celery and Italian sausage

Risotto with celery and Italian sausage

Risotto with celery and Italian sausage is a simple yet tasty recipe using ingredients that are very common in the Po valley.

Italian sausages are quite different from those English-speaking countries are used to, which are quite mild and are eaten even at breakfast – an unthinkable proposition in Italy!

There are many varieties of sausage in Northern Italy, but those made of pork are typically made with pure meat seasoned with salt and black pepper, and are therefore quite strong in comparison to the breakfast sausages that people eat, for example, in the UK. The fattiness of the sausage meat complements well the fresh taste of celery.

When making the risotto, it’s very important to let the wine evaporate fully before moving on to the next steps and add the stock, which can be made with beef, poultry or a combination of the two, depending on your preferences.

Risotto with celery and Italian sausage is comforting dish for a weekday meal on a cold day, and accompanies very well with a red wine such as Valpolicella.

Risotto with celery and Italian sausage

Ingredients (for 3-4 portions)

Extra virgin olive oil

1 shallot, finely chopped (or small onion)

400 g carnaroli (or arborio) risotto rice

60 ml dry white wine 

1.5 l meat stock (you can adapt the recipe here using a meat of your choice)

2 celery sticks, sliced

200-250 g pure pork Italian sausage

100 g grated parmesan cheese

100 g unsalted butter

Salt to taste

Method

  1. In a pot, warm up the stock. Reduce the heat and let it simmer.
  2. Meanwhile in a separate pot, heat up some extra virgin olive oil and then add the chopped shallot. Keep stirring and let it fry until golden brown. If it’s turning a bit too dark, you can add a bit of warm water and let it fully evaporate.
  3. Add the sliced celery and the chopped sausage, let it fry for a couple of minutes.
  4. Now add the rice, and toast it by stirring constantly for a couple of minutes.
  5. Increase the heat and add the wine. Keep stirring and let the wine evaporate completely.
  6. Add a couple of ladles of broth, and lower the heat. Keep stirring slowly, and let it simmer and absorb the liquid.
  7. Keep adding stock at regular intervals and let the rice soak up the liquid before adding more. Stir regularly.
  8. After about 15-16 minutes from when you started adding the stock, add butter and parmesan. If needed, adjust the salt. Stir vigorously for a couple of minutes to let the rice release its starch which combined with the butter and parmesan, will give the distinctive creamy risotto texture. Cover and set aside for 3-4 minutes.
  9. Serve in individual plates “all’onda” style, which means a bit runny.

Tips

If have any leftover risotto you can shape it into a round fritter and fry it in a bit of olive oil in a non-stick pan on a low heat, until golden and crispy on both sides.