Riso e Luganega

Rice and Sausages

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The luganega sausage is made in a long coil, and different versions appear in various parts of the country. Two theories exist in these parts regarding the name: one is that it is somehow connected to the city of Lugana in Switzerland. The other, more likely, is that the name is derived from the word for ‘long’, which in Italian is lungo. However, just to confuse things further, there is also a regional sausage with the same name that is short and slim, and not made in a continuous coil! This is a Venetian risotto and should be served quite wet and soupy.

Ingredients

  • 4 x 18 cm/7 in lengths of luganega sausage
  • 75 g/3 oz/6 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 30 ml/2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ white onion, finely chopped
  • 350 g/12 oz arborio rice
  • 175 ml/6 fl oz/¾ cup dry white wine
  • 1 litre/ pints/4 cups rich beef stock, simmering
  • 75 ml/5 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • sea salt

Method

  1. Peel and crumble two of the sausages, leaving the other two whole.
  2. Heat 40 g/ oz/3 tbsp butter and the oil in a large pan, add the onion and fry, stirring, until just golden. Add the crumbled sausages and fry, stirring frequently, until they are just cooked, but not browned.

  3. Add the rice. Stir until well mixed. Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes to evaporate the alcohol. Add two ladlefuls of stock. Stir constantly until the liquid has almost all been absorbed, then add another two ladlefuls of stock and stir as before.
  4. Continue adding the stock two ladlefuls at a time and stirring constantly, for 10 minutes.
  5. Add the two whole sausages, then continue to add stock and cook as before until the rice is tender. It will take about 25 minutes for the rice to cook.

  6. When the rice is tender, check the seasoning, and add salt only if necessary. Stir in the rest of the butter and half of the cheese. Remove the pan from the heat. Cover the pan and leave the rice to rest for 3 minutes.
  7. Remove the sausages and slice them. Transfer the risotto to a serving platter and top with the sausages. Sprinkle over the remaining cheese.

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