Saturday, March 28, 2009

Risotto San Martino, perfecto!

Amazing, amazing risotto...

We had this Risotto San Martino as a first course, prior to the Rioja Osso Bucco.

Our dear Chef Panico was inspired by Mario Batali's Risotto San Martino. I have always preferred vegetable risottos or seafood risottos over pork/sausage based ones. I originally was worried that a sausage in a risotto would make risotto stock too greasy, and the actual sausage would become dry, but boy, was I mistaken! The combination of mushrooms and sausage is perfect, and when the mushrooms were cooking, the whole kitchen smelled so fragrant and earthy. The risotto was amazingly creamy and rich. The sausage was in smaller bite-sized pieces so they fit perfectly within every bite with the juicy, tender mushrooms. We barely added any salt, and because we took the sausage out of the casings, the herbs dissolved into the stock and made it so savory, bold and rich.

Servings: for 4 people

Olive oil
2 tablespoons of butter
half of a chopped onion
1 chopped garlic
chicken stock
white wine ( in this case we had leftover red wine so we used red, and the risotto color was much darker)
sliced portabella mushrooms
2 italian sausages
4 cups of Arborio rice
2 cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Saffron, a sprinkle

Open the casing of the sausage, and smash the sausage into small nibblly pieces.

In a large pot slowly simmer together onion and garlic in the butter, when the onion starts to turn a gold color, add portabella mushrooms and mix well. Cook until the mushrooms shrink, and add the pieces of sausage. Stir the sausage until cooked, and then start to "toast" the rice, as Batali says. ( It is called toasting the rice because the broth has not been added).

After a minute or so, pour in a ladle of wine, at one a time, in order to allow the rice to absorb it. To make risotto creamy you have to mix it a lot adding the broth, as needed. After we added two ladles of wine, we transferred to adding chicken broth, after the rice absorbed the juices. The total cooking time took us more than one hour, cooking the rice alone was about 45 minutes, by repeating the steps of stirring the rice, and when the juices are almost dry continue to adding wine/ juice...and repeating again.

When risotto is almost done, stir in Parmigiano, and add the saffron and stir until well mixed. Risotto should be soft. Sprinkle some more Parmigiano on top, and serve immediately.

It's really, really delicious. I could live on this my whole life.

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