Saffron Risotto with Sausage
Any rice dish that is described as ‘milanese’ usually contains some saffron. Saffron rice is in itself a very delicate dish; the addition of luganega turns it into something rather more substantial. Luganega is fresh pork sausage that is sold by length (its name derives from the Greek ‘lukanika’). This typically Lombardian or Milanese product was usually made in the winter months when the household pig was killed, but nowadays it can be found all year round. It is made in a very long intestine 3cm (1 1/4 inch) in diameter. You can use coarsely minced fresh pork instead, so long as you season it well.
- 300g (10 1/2 oz) luganega pork sausage, or fresh minced pork
- 4 grates of nutmeg (optional)
- 2 sachets powdered saffron, or 10 saffron strands
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 55g (2 oz) butter
- 75ml (2 1/2 fl oz) dry white wine
- 350g (12 oz) risotto rice
- 1.7 litres (3 pints) beef stock
- 115g (4 oz) Parmesan, freshly grated
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Remove the sausage skin and break the meat into pieces. If you are using fresh pork, season it with pepper, salt and nutmeg. If using saffron strands, toast them for a few seconds, but be careful not to burn them. Reduce them to powder.
- Fry the onion in the oil and half the butter, then add the sausage meat or the seasoned minced pork. After the onion has turned golden and the meat has browned, add the wine. Let this evaporate for a couple of minutes before pouring in the rice. You start to add the hot stock when the rice has absorbed all the butter and oil and when it begins to stick to the pan. Proceed now as for the basic risotto method, adding more salt, pepper and the saffron as you progress.
- When the rice is al dente, incorporate the remaining butter and half the cheese. Serve with the rest of the grated cheese on top.