An earthy risotto from Lombardy, with a sharp berry twist. I made enough for 4 and ended up finishing it in one sitting myself. That would normally say more about me, but in this case I have to blame the grub. The sharpness of the blueberries lifts the dish and acts as a great palate cleanser, continually resetting the I’m full counter…
Every summer, from the age of 15 to 23, I would help Dad at our family business in Italy – a beach resort on the Ligurian riviera. I still remember when Noemi visited the beach for the first time. A strong minded, very business savvy lady from Lombardy in search of a holiday spot for her and her family. She was the first customer I ever acquired on my own without Dad’s oversight – a milestone I still remember today, nearly 15 years later. Noemi and her family have come back to the same spot – down to the very same parasol on the beach! – every year since, becoming good friends along the way.
In August when I was over in Liguria I had the chance to catch up with Noemi over an aperitivo. I was explaing about fatpastard, which then instigated an afternoon long chat about food, and her favourite dishes from her home region: Casoeula, cotoletta alla milanese, etc. As well as the classics, however, I also found out that Noemi enjoys experimenting with food. She started describing this risotto and I instantly wanted to make it! We agreed that before I left she would note down this recipe and pass it on.
On the afternoon I was leaving, despite not feeling well Noemi came to the beach to give me her recipe.
She suggested I make it and post it under my name on the blog. Not a chance. Noemi, thank you for being a great friend to our family. This one is yours.
Serves 4. Prep time 5 mins (not inc. soaking time for mushrooms); cook time 25 mins.
320g risotto rice
1 onion, finely chopped
30g dried mushrooms, roughly chopped
200g pork sausages, casings removed
30g salted butter
200ml white wine
1lt veg stock
a few glugs of olive oil
grated parmesan to taste
Firstly soak the mushrooms in boiling water, cover and leave for 30mins.
In a large frying pan heat a few glugs of olive oil. Add the onion and soften, then add the rice and toast for 2 minutes on a low heat.
Pour in the white wine and stir well over a medium heat allowing the alcohol to evaporate.
Stir in 100g of blueberries and all the mushrooms, then a little at a time add the stock whilst continuing to stir.
5 minutes before the rice is ready add the broken up sausage meat.
The risotto is ready when it’s al dente and has a fairly fluid consistency. Take it off the heat and add the butter and plenty parmesan, giving it all a vigorous stir to emulsify the risotto.
In a separate pan heat a few tbsp of water with the remaining blueberries until you have an intense purple ‘coulis’.
Plate up the risotto, drizzle with coulis and top with a few fresh blueberries.
Enjoy and thanks for reading!
What do you think of Noemi’s risotto? Do you have any favourite savoury recipes that use fruit?