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Giorgio Locatelli is a great inspiration when it comes to our Italian cooking and he hasn’t disappointed with this recipe either; fully flavoured and rich, yet fresh and exceptionally easy to eat … Jono kept on creeping back to attack the leftovers! We used some Italian sausages from Sicily that we convinced a local Italian restaurant to sell us but you can use whatever sausage you like as long as they are good quality. Georgio uses another Italian sausage called Luganica which he says are small and peppery so you could try seeking these out too.

Risotto con luganica e piselli – to serve 4

  • 150g freshly podded peas
  • 2 good pork sausages (see tips above)
  • 2.5 litres of good chicken stock
  • 50g butter
  • 1 onion, chopped very finely
  • 400g superfino carnaroli – we used regular carnaroli which worked fine
  • 125ml dry white wine
  • 2 tbsp tomato passata
For the mantecatura:
  • 75g cold butter, cut into small dice
  • 100g finely grated Parmesan
Blanch the peas in boiling salted water for a couple of minutes and drain. Crush one-third of them with a fork to make a coarse purée.

Chop the sausages into small pieces. Sauté half the chopped sausages in a pan until they are crispy and brown and set aside.

Bring your pot of stock to the boil and then turn it down so it is just simmering.

Melt the butter in a heavy-based pot and add the onion and the other half of the sausages (that you didn’t sauté). Cook gently until the onion is softened but hasn’t changed colour – about 5 minutes.

Add the rice and stir around so it gets coated in butter. Make sure all the grains are warm, before adding the wine. Let the wine evaporate totally until the onion and rice are dry.

Start adding the stock, a ladleful at a time, stirring continuously as you do so. Add the tomato passata along with the first ladeful. When each addition of stock has almost evaporated, add the next ladleful.

Carry on like this for about 15-17 minutes, continually adding stock as above. After about 12-14 minutes add, add the peas and the sausages that you sautéd earlier. Slow up on the stock when you get near the end so the rice doesn’t become too wet and soupy or it will get too sloppy when you add the butter and Parmesan at the end.

Turn the heat down and rest the risotto for a minute, then, for the mantecatura, use a wooden spoon to vigorously beat in the cold diced butter and finally the Parmesan, making sure you shake the pan hard while you beat. Season to taste and serve.

(Original recipe from Made in Italy: Food and Stories by Georgio Locatelli, published by Fourth Estate 2006)

Wine Suggestion: We suggest you serve the rest of the white that you used in the recipe. We went for a Falanghina made by Catello Ducale in Campania, the heel of Italy. The risotto is rich so you want a white wine that ‘s  reasonably full bodied and full of fruit, but maintaining freshness  which southern Italian whites like this often bring. Alternately you could try a fruity and medium bodied red with some acidity, again an Italian blend with some sangiovese would work a treat.

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