I love a good cooking programme but often find that the recipes that some of these TV chefs come up with are rather indulgent on the calorie front. Watching Gino D’Acampo cook up a sausage risotto was no exception with over 100g of butter in the original. Nevertheless my mouth was watering as I watched Gino rustle it up and so I knew I needed to make my own version as soon as I could.
The result was outstanding, easily the nicest risotto I have tasted (and better than the one I paid £9 for on Saturday night!). The key to this recipe is to find some high meat content, good quality flavoured sausages. Your local butcher is often a good place to start but failing all else, Sainsbury’s have a great selection.
Serves 4 = 14sp per person
4 Spanish sausages, skins removed (check your butchers for the best quality sausages, but if all else fails, Sainsbury’s have a pack of 6 Chorizo Style Sausages which are perfect for this recipe, the points include the nutritional info for these sausages)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, very finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
160g Arborio rice
100ml white wine
1 litre hot vegetable or chicken stock (made with 1 stock cube)
1 tsp paprika
110g frozen peas
80g Parmesan cheese, finely grated
1 tsp light butter
Pack of Asparagus Tips
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pre heat the oven to 220c.
Spray a large heavy based frying pan with 1kal and place on a high heat. When hot, add the sausage meat and fry, using a wooden spoon to break up the meat into small pieces.
Continue to fry until the sausages are a nice golden brown, then transfer to a plate.
In the same pan, heat 1/2 tbsp of oil and once hot, cook the onion and garlic for 2 minutes, then add the rice and fry for 3 minutes on a medium heat, allowing the rice to toast into the hot oil. I don’t usually use much oil in my cooking however in risotto I think it’s essential to ensure you get the right texture for the rice. Stir continuously with a wooden spoon. Pour the wine over the rice and continue to cook for a further minute to allow the alcohol to evaporate.
Add a couple of ladles of stock and the paprika and bring to a simmer. Continue to cook and stir until all the stock is absorbed. Keep an eye on the pan as you need to keep stirring with a wooden spoon to make sure nothing sticks. Pour in the rest of the stock a little at a time, cooking until each addition is absorbed.
You will know the rice is cooked when all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is cooked but still has a slight bite. This takes around 20 minutes (and be careful, you may not need all the stock).
When the rice is cooked, add the peas and simmer for a few minutes until the peas are cooked through.
While the peas are cooking, toss the asparagus in the other 1/2 tbsp olive oil, season with salt, pepper and garlic powder and toss through 10g of the asparagus. Pop onto a baking tray sprayed with 1kal in a single layer and pop into the oven for 10-12 minutes (add a couple of extra minutes if your asparagus is very thick).
Once cooked, remove from the asparagus oven and squeeze over the juice of 1/2 a lemon. Chop up the majority of the asparagus, reserving a few tips per person to garnish and mix the rest through the risotto then add three quarters of the sausage to the risotto mix.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter, Parmesan and the juice of the other 1/2 of the lemon. Season to taste.
Serve the risotto in nice big bowls and top with the rest of the sausage and asparagus. Finish with a final twist of freshly ground black pepper.