Noemi’s mushroom, sausage and blueberry risotto

Noemi's risotto

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…


Noemi's risotto


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.


Noemi's 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
150g blueberries
30g salted butter
200ml white wine
1lt veg stock
a few glugs of olive oil
grated parmesan to taste


Soak the mushrooms


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.


Blackberries releasing their colour


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?

4 Comment

  1. lesley Alberigo says: Reply

    What a lovely post Cri! X

    1. cristiano says: Reply

      Glad you liked it! Sent it on to Noemi too. Will let you know what she thinks! X

  2. Just five minutes ago, I was having an online conversation with someone about giving credit where credit is due. She said I should have taken credit for a recipe I found in a British magazine, since we’re in the US and no one here reads British magazines. I can’t do it.

    It’s lovely to see that you feel the same way and of course Noemi deserves credit for her recipe! I don’t like peas in my risotto, so I don’t know if I’d like blueberries! haha! I’m a picky one, I am, but it does look gorgeous! I’ve never seen a risotto recipe with fruit, but honestly, one would have to taste it to know about the flavor, so until then-I’ll be open minded! :)

    1. cristiano says: Reply

      Ha what a coincidence! Yea I wouldn’t get much enjoyment out of doing that. Of course getting inspiration from things you see is inevitable, but I’d still say something like inspired by abc… Whereas I loved publicising this, especially someone like Noemi who wasn’t born in the social media era, or computer era for that matter :) and so that recipe would normally just be in her head or jotted down in a notebook somewhere. So no extra bits in risottos for Christina then? Purist, I like it. What would be your absolute ideal risotto? Ciao!

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