It was only the other day, that I had realised that I hadn’t touched a bowl of pasta for over a week. Instead, I had been enjoying a different number of bowls of risotto. There is something really comforting about a creamy bowl of Italian rice and it’s versatility means that you can enjoy it with so many different ingredients and recipes. This week I wanted to share with you my super easy cauliflower and sausage risotto.
This recipe is inspired by northern Italian cooking. Venetian to be precise. I learnt this dish years ago and it’s a winter favourite when cauliflower is in its seasonal prime. I also got sent some sausage mince from Salsicciamo, who specialise in amazing Italian sausages and sausage based products. I have to say, the combination of these two ingredients are fantastic and wondered why I haven’t cooked this magical combo more often.
Risotto is one of those dishes that can feel quite daunting to cook. It’s a dish you may only enjoy when out for dinner (whenever that maybe next). However, let me tell you that it’s not that difficult at all. It’s a total myth. All it needs is a little time, attention and love and you can’t go wrong. If you would like to read more on how to perfect a risotto, read my post here.
I hope some of you try this amazing comforting winter recipe. It won’t disappoint.
Enjoy my bambinos!
1 cauliflower, trimmed and cut into small florets
1 tsp dry thyme
250g sausage meat
1 onion, finely chopped
100ml white wine
800ml vegetable stock
30g parmesan, grated
- Bring a large pan of water to the boil, season with salt and parboil the cauliflower florets for 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon.
- In a large frying pan, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil. Add the cauliflower with the thyme and fry for 3-4 minutes until slightly browned. Remove from the pan.
- Now add and fry the sausage meat for 4-5 minutes on a low/medium heat until browned. Remove from the pan.
- If the frying pan looks dry, add another tbsp of olive oil. Add the onions, a pinch of salt and softly fry on a low heat until translucent.
- Add the rice and make sure its well coated in the onion and oil. Turn the heat to medium and toast the risotto for a few minutes
- Season with salt.
- Pour in the white wine, stir and wait until the alcohol has evaporated and the wine absorbed.
- Now gradually add the stock, a ladleful at a time, while stirring your risotto continually. Make sure you add your next ladle of stock when all the previous stock has been absorbed.
- When you pour in your last ladle of stock, add back the cauliflower, sausage meat and parmesan and give it a good stir until the ingredients have warmed through.
- Taste and season if needed. Serve immediately with fresh parsley on top.
- It’s important to season you cooking water with plenty of salt, to ensure the vegetables are seasoned properly and tasty.
- Cook your cauliflower on a low/medium heat to get that slight caramelisation on the outside.
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- The salt will help draw out the excess bitter water in the onion, creating a sweeter flavour base.
- You will know when the risotto rice has toasted when the outer layer of the risotto rice grain becomes translucent.
- Seasoning the salt at this point rather than at the end gives the salt time to infuse the hard grain during cooking.
- Wine is always a great flavour addition to a risotto before finishing it off with stock.
- Make sure the stock is hot and simmering rather than room temperature. It will cool down the cooking process.
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