Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Risotto al Barolo con Salsiccia

Risotto with Sausage, also known as Risotto alla Lodigiana, is a found in many different regions of Italy however its home is Lodi. Lodi is a small town outside of Milan on the road to Crema and located in the area where pork is widely used in the traditional cuisine. Last night Raffaella and I wanted to break out one of our top-line bottles of Barolo. It had been a long day. We chose a Bricco Rocche Brunate 1997. We have had this wine in our cellar for several years but had not tasted it before. One of our wine buddies had suggested we try it so we knew it was good. The real problem, what to prepare?

The food needed to be savory but we did not want to go into a heavy meal, the star of the evening was to be the wine. The birthplace of risotto is Crema, the town where Raffaella’s mother is from. In fact, Raffaella’s mother would tell me stories of Raffaella, six years old, standing on a chair to reach the stove top, making risotto for her dolls. There are thousands of variations of risotto. They may be very simple with just Parmesan cheese to extremely elaborate with Tartufo or mushrooms.

We looked in the refrigerator, various cheeses, Salami, and some sausage. I realized it is about time we went shopping. The choice was simple, Risotto with Sausage. In most areas risotto will use white wine to sizzle the rice but in Crema, Lodi and Bergamo red wine, usually a Barbera, is combined for the risotto with sausage. Instead of opening a Barbera for the Risotto we decided to use a glass of our Barolo.

The wine was marvelous and the risotto was perfect. I could not resist the temptation and performed the forbidden scarpetta, first on my plate, then on Raffaella’s finally picking up the she had cooked the risotto in and cleaned it thoroughly. They were clean, the kind of clean you have if you let your dog finish a really good meat dish. No tell tale signs of our marvelous dinner except the empty bottle of wine.

Ingredients for 4 people:

400 gr. (just under 1 lb) of Arborio Rice
¾ lb (300 gr.) Sausage
2 tablespoon (40 gr.) butter
1 medium sized onion
1 quart chicken broth
1 glass red wine ( you may use any dry red wine )
¼ lb (100 gr.) Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 nut of butter (just under 1 tablespoon)

Note: we use Beer soaked Bratwurst for the sausage, they are most similar to northern Italian sausage – do not use “Italian Sausage” from here in the States, it has Fennel and you do not want Fennel


Chop the onion to a small dice.

Remove the casing of the sausage.

Place the broth in a pot and heat over medium high heat. Once it comes to a boil reduce heat to maintain a simmer.

Place the butter and onion in a medium sized heavy pot on medium heat. Continue to sauté the onion until translucent. Add the sausage and cook until gray but not browned. The sausage should remain moist.

Turn on the timer at 27 minutes. Add the rice to the hot pot and stir with a wooden spoon. Continue to stir for about two minutes until the rice is completely coated. Sprinkle the wine directly into the rice. It will steam. Continue stirring the rice until the wine has almost evaporated.

Add one ladle of broth (about ¾ cup). Continue stirring the rice at intervals of every 15-30 seconds. As the broth is consumed add another ladle.

Continue until the timer goes off. Again it takes 27 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and the nut of butter. Let sit for 2 minutes and serve hot! The serving hot part is very important.


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Blogger ChickyBabe said...

That just sounds so delicious! I'll have to try the red wine with risotto.

6:34 PM

Blogger a.c.t. said...

I love risotto but unfortunately my boyfriend doesn't. He likes everything else but I dispair and try to think of many ways to make him like it - I will try once more with salsiccia, that might do the trick. I'm glad you said 27 minutes because most of the recipes I have read ALWAYS say it takes 20 minutes which it never ever does.

3:03 AM

Blogger Travel Italy said...

ChickyBabe - The red wine adds a bit of flavor and is an interesting twist. We like a simple risotto al Barolo which accentuates and concentrates the flavor of the Barolo even more.

ACT - The only reason I could think that they want 20 minutes is that they are cooking restaurant style where the risotto then goes into the oven to stay hot, thus continues to cook.

4:59 AM

Blogger Lexcen said...

I love arborio rice. Never thought of wine in the risotto. Thanks for the recipe.

2:06 AM

Blogger Travel Italy said...

Lexcen Risotto is great with just about anything. One of the most unusual and very good is Risotto with Strawberries.

3:10 PM

Blogger Sol said...

I saved this recipe awhile ago. We love risottos.

Usually, I taste and improvise while using new recipes, change this and that along the way, adapt it to my tastes.

This one, I cooked following your recipe as is, not tasting and not changing anything.
And wow, it was worth to blindly trust you - delicious! Thank you :)

S. from Budapest

11:43 AM


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