Carlotta’s Risotto with Sausage
Carlotta Muti, Torino Discovery and EatWith, Turin, Italy
“I prefer the longer grain of carnaroli rice; it holds its form and doesn't turn to mush. And I like the flavor,” says Carlotta. “But arbrorio rice is also fine. For the sausage, I use pork sausage from the town of Moncalieri, about 8 kilometers from Turin. But any good sausage, without the skin, will work.”
80 grams of rice per person and 20 grams for the pot
1 small onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
90 grams pork sausage per person
1 sprig of rosemary
.75 liters of broth, homemade or purchased as liquid or bullion, with or without meat
1 glass red wine, traditionally Barbera
1 to 2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano cheese
Put broth on to simmer until needed later. In a large pot, heat olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter. Add onion and rosemary. When onion is translucent and slightly brown, remove rosemary, add sausage, and stir. When sausage is brown, push to one side and add rice to bottom of pot; you want it on the bare, relatively dry bottom of the pan. Let rice sear for a few minutes. Then mix sausage and rice together and add one glass of red wine and enough hot broth to just cover the rice and sausage. Stir occasionally and add more broth if needed. If broth is too salty, add hot water instead. When rice is cooked al dente (that is, you can still distinguish all the grains and the grains still have some firmness) turn off the stove then add ½ to 1 tablespoon of butter and stir in cheese. Serve immediately, as reheated risotto changes in taste and consistency.
"When I am in a hurry," says Carlotta, "I buy broth or use bullion cubes. But when I have the time, I make this broth."
¼ of an old hen (the old ones have more flavor), skinless
1 piece cow bone with marrow
1 piece of cow meat with bone
2 celery stalks
Salt (a small handful or to taste)
Put all ingredients in a 5-liter pot and cook for 2 hours or more; if using a pressure cooker, cook on hour. Degrease before using.
For more on Italian recipes, wine, and food lore, see my post:
Carlotta's Secrets for Cooking Italian Comfort Food
These recipes are being collected on a Mediterranean Comfort Food Tour, a five-month journey around the Mediterranean rim exploring what food can tech us about other cultures — and our own.
See all my Comfort Food Recipes.