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 Red Pepper and Italian Sausage Risotto Recipe

Red Pepper and Italian Sausage Risotto. Click picture to enlarge.
Click picture to enlarge

We used Cacciatore for our Italian sausage mainly because it's tasty and available in the supermarkets. Possibly more authentic would be zampone or cotechino but the supermarkets don't sell either. If you want either of these try your nearest Italian deli, but the difference in taste is not huge. The easiest English alternative, and a very tasty one, is a couple of cooked and cooled Cumberland sausages.

KEY POINTS

 Preparation Time:  20 mins  Cooking Time:   40 minutes
 How Difficult  Medium  Freeze?   No
 Servings

4 portions

INGREDIENTS

Ingredients

Imperial

Metric

Italian risotto rice

10 oz

280 g

Red sweet pepper 1 medium 1 medium
Cacciatore Italian sausage (see notes above) 5 oz 150g
Fresh grated parmesan cheese 1 oz 40 g
Butter 1 oz 50 g
Onion 1 medium 1 medium
Celery sticks 3 3
Garlic cloves 2 medium 2 medium
Vegetable stock 1.3 pints 750 ml
Dried thyme teaspoon teaspoon
Dry white wine 1 glasses 1 glasses
Olive oil 3 tablespoons 3 tablespoons
Salt and pepper To taste To taste

COOKS NOTES: Risotto is a North Italian dish and aside from the basic risotto recipe almost anything can be added. We've made ours with sliced Italian sausage and roasted sweet red pepper but any vegetable goes well as does beef, ham, pork and chicken.

The creamy texture comes from adding the stock slowly over the 15 minutes cooking time - this forces the starch out of the rice. The final touch of adding the parmesan cheese and butter is essential  - cover the dish and let it stand for 2 minutes. Warm plates help keep the creamy texture whilst eating.

COOKING EQUIPMENT
1 medium frying pan
1 oven dish to roast the sweet pepper and cacciatore sausage
A ladle if possible but not necessary

PREPARATION
Finely chop the garlic cloves
Finely chop the onion
Finely grate the parmesan cheese
Finely chop the celery
Cut red pepper in half and remove seeds and pith

Method

Place the red pepper halves and Cacciatore sausage on a baking tray. Drizzle the red pepper with olive oil (we used one-cal spray olive oil) and lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place in a preheated oven at 190C / 375F or Gas Mark 5.

Italian red pepper and sausage risotto

 
Italian sausage and red pepper risotto Put the olive oil in the frying pan and turn to a low heat. Add the celery, onion and garlic.

Cook on a low heat for 15 minutes, stirring every few minutes, to soften the vegetables but don't brown them. Vegetables cooked this way are known as a soffrito.

 
After the vegetables have fried, add the rice and turn the heat up to medium. Stir for 2 minutes by which time the rice will have become translucent.  Click picture to enlarge.

 
Baked mushroom risoto. Click picture to enllarge.

Add the wine to the ingredients in the frying pan and savour the delicious aroma! Stir frequently for three more minutes.

 
Add a ladle (or a cup) of the vegetable stock and stir well. When the liquid is absorbed by the rice add another ladle of stock. Proceed like this for about 15 minutes adding more stock as the rice absorbs the liquid. You do not have to use all the stock.

At the end of the cooking time the rice should be moist but not flooded. It should stack up in the pan as in the picture. Season with salt and pepper.

Click picture to enlarge



Click to enlarge. Half way through cooking the the risotto remove the sweet pepper and sausage from the oven. Chop the red peppers and slice the Italian sausage. If the sausage is too hot to handle run it under the cold tap for a few seconds to cool the outside. 

Stir both ingredients into the cooking risotto.


When the risotto has finished absorbing the liquid it will look like the picture on the right. Add the butter, parmesan cheese and thyme and stir well. Put a lid on the pan and let it stand unheated for two minutes. Whilst it is standing, warm the plates in the oven. Click picture to enlarge.

Click picture to enlarge. Serve on the warmed plates and grate a little more parmesan over the top for good luck. Serve with a green salad.

Risotto will not keep for any length of time so eat immediately.

 

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