Sunday, January 15, 2012

Artichoke & Italian Sausage Risotto

Artichoke & Italian Sausage Risotto 1

You may recall that last week I brought you coffee, when I had really been planning to bring you risotto.  Since then, I was flooded with comments from so many of you saying that you still wanted to see the risotto, and as our theme for this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs is Rice is Nice this seemed like the perfect time to share this dish.

This is another recipe from Tessa Kiros' book Falling Cloudberries, though to be honest I used her recipe more as inspiration than following it too closely.  Risotto is one of those things that I make so often that I can pretty much make it with my eyes closed.  I have my own tried and true "method" for making risotto and seldom use a recipe other than for inspiration.  So it was with this recipe - I took Tessa's idea for artichokes and Italian sausages, but departing somewhat from her method I incorporated them into my usual risotto base.  I found a great Italian sausage with plenty of fennel and little hits of chilli which brought loads of flavour to the risotto, and I used bottled char-grilled artichokes instead of the fresh artichokes Tessa used.  There are no fresh artichokes available here right now - in fact, even in the season here, they are both hard to come by and ridiculously expensive - and I have never come across frozen ones here in New Zealand either.  Bottled ones work just fine, however, and I simply put them in right at the end so that they wouldn't break up too much.

I have always loved the combination of sausage with pasta or rice, and the spiciness of these sausages with the smoky char-grilled artichokes, combined with creaminess of the rice amounted to the ultimate in comfort food.  Kim at Stirring the Pot made this last week and said it was one of her favourite Tessa Kiros recipes so far, and I would have to agree - this was definitely one of my favourites.  I urge you to try it.
Artichoke & Italian Sausage Risotto 3

Artichoke & Italian Sausage Risotto
Inspired by a recipe by Tessa Kiros from
Makes 3 generous servings
Click here for a printable copy of this recipe

4x char-grilled bottled artichokes, drained & cut into quarters
3x medium sized Italian sausages
olive oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
small bunch of thyme
4 generous handfuls arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine or juice of 1 lemon
3 to 4 cups vegetable stock, hot
pinch of saffron threads, infused in the hot stock
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup Parmesan, freshly grated
flaky sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

Remove the casings from the sausages - just run a sharp knife down the full length of the sausage, peel off the casing and discard - it will come off very easily.  Heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil in a large skillet, set over high heat.  Add the sausages to the hot oil and using a wooden spatula break the sausages up into smallish pieces.  Cook, stirring from time to time, until the pieces of sausage are cooked through and lightly golden all over.  Remove from the pan and set aside on some paper towels to drain any excess fat.

Return the pan to the heat.  With fat that has come out of the sausages, you shouldn't need any more oil in the pan, but by all means add more if necessary - you should have about 2-3 tablespoons of oil.  Add the shallot, garlic and thyme to the pan - cooking until the shallot has softened and the garlic is fragrant, taking care not to burn the garlic.  Almost as soon as you can smell the garlic it is time to add the rice to the pan.  Continue cooking the rice with the shallot and garlic, stirring constantly, until every single grain of rice is coated with the oil - it will take on a kind of translucent look around the edges and will start to "squeak".

Now is the time to add the wine or lemon juice - I used lemon juice on this occasion, which I thought worked really well with the artichokes.  Continue stirring until virtually all the wine or juice has been absorbed by the rice.  Then begin to add the stock and saffron, one ladleful at a time - stirring constantly until each ladleful has been absorbed before adding the next. The rice will swell up considerably as it absorbs the stock, and when you get to the point where you think the rice will only take one or two more additions of stock, add in the pieces of cooked sausage.  Continue adding the stock until the rice is cooked through.  Remove the pan from the heat.

Add the artichokes to the rice, along with the butter, two-thirds of the parmesan, a generous pinch of flaky sea salt, and some freshly ground black pepper.  Stir well, cover the pan, and set aside for about 5 minutes for all the flavours to infuse.  Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary.

Spoon the risotto into serving bowls, sprinkle over the the remaining Parmesan and serve immediately.

Artichoke & Italian Sausage Risotto 2

If you would like to get to know Tessa a little better, then do go and visit my friends at I Heart Cooking Clubs and see what they've all cooked up ...

IHCC Tessa Kiros Button

... or check out Falling Cloudberries and many of Tessa's other great titles available from Amazon or Fishpond NZ.

         

CookbookSundays

I'm also sharing this at Cookbook Sundays, where my friends are delving into their cookbook collections and sharing some of their recipes.  Do stop by to see what they're cooking - you might even feel inspired to link up a recipe from one of your own cookbooks.

25 comments:

  1. This does sound like a really great combo that I want to try. And my two favorite things about a good Italian sausage are just that- plenty of fennel and chile! Yum =)

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  2. Heather, I know you would love this dish. Thanks for stopping by xo

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  3. I am so happy this recipe was one of your favorites. I'm now having daydreams of how wonderful this risotto would be when made into fried risotto balls (yum)! Your risotto looks delicious....

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    1. Thanks, Kim - definitely a favourite, and it would be absolutely wonderful made into arancini. The hard part would be managing to actually stash any leftovers to do that.
      xo

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  4. I really do have to try this one! Great flavors. I'd probably eat way too much.

    Laughing over Kim wanting to make fried risotto balls out of this.

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    1. Michelle, you definitely must give it a try, and yes you will eat way too much - I certainly did.
      xo

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  5. This sounds lovely. I shall tell my husband who is the risotto cook in our house!

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    1. Thanks, Julie - I'm sure your husband will love it xo

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  6. Between you and Kim, I can't help drooling over this dish. It looks so incredibly good. ;-)

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    1. Thanks, Deb. It really was very good - I will definitely be making it again xo

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  7. It looks just wonderful. It was fun reading about your take on risotto and how you go about it, etc. Your photo is really nice...makes me want to get a fork immediately.

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    1. Thanks Kayte - so pleased you enjoyed the post. That's the great thing I love about risotto, is that once you have mastered your own basic recipe then their are infinite possibilities for varying it.
      xo

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  8. Lovely! I use jar artichokes too - being in Canada - but I have never seen charred ones before. What a great idea!
    Delicious looking dish, I can see why it is a favourite.

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    1. I would love to be able to get frozen artichoke hearts here - I guess we don't because they are not much of a prolific crop here in New Zealand. I used them a lot when I was in Greece last year, and found them a really useful ingredient to have in the freezer. Still, bottled ones are also a good pantry staple, and the char grilled ones are especially delicious.
      xo

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  9. This sounds wonderful. Artichokes are one of my favorite things, so I'm sure I'd love this. It looks so good!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by - I hope you give it a try :-)

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  10. Your risotto looks delicious! I love the jarred artichokes and have never had them in a risotto before, can't wait to give it a try. I have never seen frozen artichoke hearts in my neck of the woods (or would that be world? :) ) either, although they would be nice!

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    1. Thanks, Andrea - I'm sure you'll love it. Actually, don't know why I never used artichoke hearts in risotto before - I often use them in pasta - but I'll definitely be using them again.
      xo

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  11. This looks fantastic - I love both artichokes and Italian sausage (and of course risotto!). Can't wait to make something like this, I imagine it'd be great for one of the cooler summer nights :)

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    1. Thanks, Mika - the artichokes and Italian sausage are a great combo. You're right - this would be perfect for a cool summer night or early autumn evening.
      xo

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  12. I love risotto and make it very often. I have never tried to pair it with artichokes, but I can see that it goes perfectly and this is something I will have to experiment with next time!

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  13. Hi Katerina - you are lucky enough to be able to probably get fresh artichokes with ease, and frozen ones when they are out of season. Hope you enjoy your experiment.
    xo

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  14. So comforting! And I do like pretty much anything with a little fennel & chilli. Have a great long weekend :)

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