04 November 2010

Cookbookyssey #9: Mangia with Quattro

Mangia with Quattro: Family-Style Italian From The Heart
by Antonio and Patrick Corsi and Tanis Tsisserev
© 2009 Whitecap Books

I have a little more time on my hands now, so I can get back to my Cookbookyssey project: my attempt to cook my way (one recipe per book) through the hundreds of cookbooks that I've been accumulating.

This is the second recipe I've made from Mangia. Last year I made Salmone al Miele, which had a honey- dijon- dill- orange juice reduction glaze (and paired really nicely with asparagus). Hmmm maybe I will make that again soon... it was really good.

This was my first time making risotto, and I wasn't entirely sure what the proper wetness vs. stickiness consistency is supposed to be. So I made this the way I think it's supposed to look, using What Katie Ate's pumpkin risotto as my guide. But I actually prefer my risotto a little on the soggier side.

For the record, here's what Wikipedia says about the texture of risotto:

Properly cooked risotto is rich and creamy but still with some resistance or bite: al dente, and with separate grains. The traditional texture is fairly fluid, or all'onda ("wavy, or flowing in waves"). It is served on flat dishes and it should easily spread out but not have excess watery liquid around the perimeter. It must be eaten at once as it continues to cook in its own heat and can become too dry with the grains too soft.

Risotto con Salsicce (Italian Sausage Risotto)

2 oz dry porcini mushrooms, soaked in 4 cups warm water about 1 hour
1/4 cup butter, divided
1/2 white onion, diced
4 mild Italian sausages, skin removed, chopped
1 cup dry red wine
2 cups arborio rice
12 cups chicken stock, kept hot
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Ground black pepper

Strain the porcini mushrooms through a fine-mesh sieve, reserving the liquid. Pick through the mushrooms, discarding any grit, and then chop them.

Over medium heat in a heavy sauté pan, melt 2 Tbsp of the butter and sauté the onion for 2 minutes. Add the sausage and chopped porcini mushrooms and sauté for 5 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the red wine and reduce for 2 minutes.

Stir in the rice and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until the rice is coated with pan juices and is heated through.

Increase the heat to medium-high and slowly add half the hot chicken stock and half the reserved mushroom liquid, stirring gently and constantly. Add more liquid if required. You may not need all the liquid as the rice should be al dente but not chalky or mushy.

Remove the risotto from the heat and melt in the remaining butter and the Parmesan cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve in warm bowls.


This was a lot easier than I expected. Mostly it's just a lot of stirring. And a lot of tasting to see if the texture is right yet. Or if maybe it will be right in five minutes once you take it off the heat and stir in the butter. Basically a lot of self doubt about whether or not I'm doing it right. But easy self doubt.

P.S. Thanks to Grace for editing my dinner plans and advising against using shiitake mushrooms as a substitute.

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