This hearty Red Wine Risotto with sausage and pancetta is traditionally served in Northern Italy.
4 cups chicken or beef stock
3 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion, diced
8 ounces Italian sausage, removed from casing (about 2 to 3 sausages)
3 ounces pancetta, diced
2 cups arborio or carnaroli rice
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 cups dry red wine
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Olive oil, for drizzling (optional)
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to taste
Basil leaves, for garnishing (optional)
Bring stock to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.
Heat 2 tbsp. butter and 1 tbsp. olive oil in a skillet over medium to medium high heat. Add onion and sauté until soft, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add sausage meat, breaking apart with back of wooden spoon. Add pancetta. Cook until meat is browned, about 5 to 6 minutes.
Add rice and season with salt and pepper. Cook rice for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add red wine. Let wine reduce until most of the liquid is evaporated. Add one ladleful of simmering stock, let cook, stirring frequently, until the stock is completely absorbed into the rice. Continue to add one ladleful of stock at a time, cooking and stirring until all the liquid is absorbed into the rice. Cook until rice is tender yet still firm, about 20 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in 1 tbsp. butter and grated Parmesan cheese.
Serve with a a drizzle of olive oil, freshly grated Parmesan and garnish with basil, if desired.
Yield: 4 servings.