Leek Risotto with Sausage

 A few weeks ago, on a foggy Sunday afternoon, we drove from Bra to Cervere, a village known for being home to the best leeks in the whole of Italy, to secure our stash for the season.

The first thing I made with these huge, beautiful leeks is risotto – a simple dish made special by local, quality ingredients, and enriched by a good deal of savoury sausage for good measure. A perfect winter warmer.

Leek Risotto with Sausage

3 leeks
4 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
5 oz sausage meat (pork and veal mix is ideal)
1 cup (about 180 g) uncooked carnaroli or vialone nano rice
1/2 cup (125 ml) dry white wine
4 cups (1 L) home-made vegetable stock
1 1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt
1/4 cup (50 g) grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

Rinse the leeks and cut off the ends and the tough, green parts. Cut the stems lengthwise into 1/2-inch discs and set aside.

Cut the sausage into 1/2-inch chunks and set aside. In a medium pot over low heat, bring the stock to a boil, then lower the heat and keep it warm and ready to be used.

In a large pan over medium fire, melt 2 tablespoons of butter, add leeks and cook for three-four minutes, stirring occasionally using a wood spoon, then add sausage and cook for two more minutes. Add rice and toast it for about three minutes stirring frequently to avoid sticking and burning, then add the wine and let evaporate.

Raise the heat to medium-high and start adding the stock gradually, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently, adding more stock only when all the liquid has been absorbed. Check your rice for doneness after 10 minutes, it should be done at 15 minutes. (The amount of stock you’ll need depends on the type of rice you are using.)

Remove from heat when your rice is al dente. If your risotto is too dense, add 1/4 cup stock and let it rest, covered, for two minutes.

Uncover, add the rest of the butter, cold and cut into cubes, and the Parmigiano. Stir energetically, until completely melted. Adjust seasoning with more salt if needed. The final result should be runny and fluid (all’onda), not piled and sticky. If your risotto is too sticky, don’t be afraid to add more hot stock before serving. Top the plated risotto with some Parmigiano to taste.



1 Comment

  1. la domestique December 13, 2011

    Those leeks are really something special! They make the leeks in my grocery look so very sad and puny. I love the photo of the trout with leeks and olives. I often serve buttered leeks as a side dish for fish and last night we had leeks in salmon and potato soup with fish stock and a splash of cream. Love leeks!


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