For people who cannot do without meat, it is a great idea to add sausages to your risotto anytime. You can make it as spicy as you would like. Today we added chipolata sausages, the favorite of many youngsters. Served with a slice of focaccia with tomatoes and olives. Yum!
Ingredients (serves 4)
4 higher-welfare chipolata sausages
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
½ teaspoon dried red chilli flakes
½ a butternut squash
1.2 litres organic veg or chicken stock
125 ml Chianti
300 g Arborio risotto rice
1 radicchio or 2 red chicory
300 g cottage cheese
15 g Parmesan cheese
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
Finely slice the chipolatas and place in a large high-sided pan on a medium heat with 1 tablespoon of oil, the fennel seeds and chilli flakes. Stir and fry while you chop the squash into 1cm dice (leaving the skin on and deseeding), and peel and finely chop the onions. Stir the veg into the pan, then cook with a lid ajar for around 20 minutes, or until the squash is starting to break down and caramelize, stirring regularly. Simmer the stock in a pan on a low heat.
Push the squash aside, and pour the Chianti into the pan. Let it cook away, picking up all that goodness from the base of the pan. Stir in the rice for 2 minutes, then gradually add the stock, a ladleful at a time, stirring and waiting for each ladleful to be absorbed before adding the next. Repeat this, stirring and massaging the starch out of the rice, for 20 minutes, or until the rice is cooked but still holding its shape, and the risotto is oozy.
Finely slice the radicchio or chicory and stir through the risotto with the cottage cheese, then taste and season to perfection. Portion up and serve with a fine grating of Parmesan and a sprinkling of picked thyme leaves.