Chestnut Italian sausage risotto

Saturday, November 3, 2018 Food

This risotto really captures the quintessential flavours  of Autumnal Italy 


This risotto really captures the quintessential flavors  of Autumnal Italy

Italians love chestnuts and there are different varieties throughout the country.

They can be roasted, boiled, puréed and candied, and added to soups, salads, pasta, risottos and desserts.

They’re a popular street food; roasted chestnuts are sold from pushcarts in autumn.

Here the chestnuts add depth and a sweet nuttiness, which complements the herby Italian sausages perfectly.

Serves 4

  • 3tbsp olive oil
  • 3 coarse, Italian-style sausages (about 200g/7oz), skins removed
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 celery stick, finely chopped
  • 2tbsp chopped fresh thyme, plus extra sprigs to garnish
  • 300g (10½oz) arborio or carnaroli rice
  • 6tbsp brandy
  • 1.2ltr (2pt) hot vegetable stock
  • 100g (3½oz) cooked, peeled chestnuts (try vacuum-packed from supermarkets), finely chopped
  • 100g (3½oz) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 130g (4½oz) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Heat 1tbsp of oil in a large, high-sided frying pan or heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat.

Add the sausage meat. Break it up with a wooden spoon and fry for 5 minutes, until browned. Transfer to a plate.

Heat the remaining 2tbsp of oil in the pan. Add the onion, celery and thyme and fry for 3-5 minutes, until softened but not browned. Return the sausage meat to the pan.

Add the rice and fry for 3 minutes, stirring continuously, until the grains are coated and shiny.

Pour in the brandy and let it bubble for 1 minute, until it has evaporated. Add 2 ladles of stock and bring to a simmer.

Stir until the liquid has been absorbed. Add the rest of the stock in the same way. After 12-15 minutes, add the chestnuts.

Continue to add the stock, cooking for 5 minutes, until the rice is cooked but has a slight bite.

You may not need all the stock.Remove from the heat and add the butter and Parmesan, stirring for 30 seconds until creamy.

Season with black pepper. Ladle into bowls and garnish with the thyme sprigs.