Our trip to Italy! See more here.
When Kurt was a younger lad, he spent a year doing an exchange in Italy. He lived near the town of Merate, outside of Milan, in the region known as Brianza. The north gets a bit colder in the winter, so dishes are often heartier (Kurt tries to tell me they just work harder there, so they need more substantial meals). Apart from the lovely Italian language, Kurt also picked up some great cooking skills during his time there. He was thrilled to try out this recipe particular to the region where he lived. Kurt and I visited his friends and host families in Italy last summer, so I was also excited to get a further glimpse into Italian culture. And of course it was delicious. Grazie mille, Kurt! I had a wonderful birthday!
Risotto alla Brianzola
1 onion, chopped
1/2 lb sausage
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 cup dry red wine (divide into 1/2 cup portions)
5 cups broth (we used chicken broth)
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1-1/2 cups arborio rice, yellow if you can find it
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads (about 20)
Parmesan cheese for garnish
In a small frying pan, break apart sausage, add 1/2 cup red wine, and sauté meat until browned. Set aside. In a large frying pan, heat butter with olive oil, cook onion and garlic together until soft. Bring broth to a boil in a sauce pan. Add rice and remaining wine to the onion pan. Cook and allow wine to evaporate. Gradually add broth in stages to rice mixture and stir constantly as it is absorbed. (The rice should puff up and develop a creamy sauce.) Once all the liquid has been absorbed, add sausage mixture and saffron to rice. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.
Wine pairing: Chianti or a dry red wine (We drank a Zonin Chianti from 2006 as suggested by the owner of our local wine shop)