Risotto With Peas and Sausage
Vegetables as seasonal as a maypole shape this risotto. There is a bit of veal for those who desire a more substantial plate of food, but it’s optional. For vegetarians, the broth does not have to be chicken. Omit the butter and cheese, and you're in vegan territory. As for the rice, regular arborio works fine though Vialone Nano, the elegant variety that is preferred in Venice for risotto with peas, is my choice for added culture, not necessarily flavor.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 4to 4 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 2tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1cup finely chopped leeks, whites with a little green
- 3cloves garlic, slivered
- 5ounces weisswurst, casing removed and diced, or 5 ounces finely diced veal shoulder (optional)
- 1 ½cups Vialone Nano or arborio rice
- ½cup dry white wine
- ¾cups shelled English peas (12 ounces in the pod)
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 1tablespoon grated lemon zest
- 1tablespoon unsalted butter
- ⅓cup shredded pecorino cheese
- 1tablespoon minced chives
Step 1Place stock in a saucepan and keep on low heat.
Step 2Heat oil in a separate heavy 3-quart saucepan. Add leeks and garlic and sauté on medium-low until leeks are translucent. Stir in sausage or veal, if using. Cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add in rice and cook a few minutes, stirring, until grains start to whiten. Add wine and cook until it’s nearly evaporated.
Step 3Add a 1/2 cup of the warm stock and the peas. Stir and cook at a steady simmer until the stock has nearly evaporated. Add another 1/2 cup of the stock, stir from time to time until it’s nearly evaporated. Keep this up until the rice is almost al dente, the peas are tender and there’s only a little stock left. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Fold in lemon zest and remaining stock; the result should be creamy. Cook another minute or two. Fold in butter.
Step 4Divide risotto among 4 to 6 shallow soup plates. Top each portion with cheese and chives. Serve.