Monzese Risotto, Risotto alla Monzese in Italian. As the word says, is typical of the city of Monza – near Milan – famous not only for the Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix, but also for the immense Monza’s Park, its absolutely sublime historical architecture such as the Cathedral and Villa Reale, neoclassical style palace built in Monza by the Habsburgs as a private residence during the Austrian domination in the 18th century, for the character of Monaca di Monza in the novel ‘I Promessi Sposi’ by Alessandro Manzoni, and for its risotto as well, which is nothing but a close relative of Milanese risotto milanese-saffron-risotto that beside saffron has the addition of pork sausage.
The sausage is called Luganega, a pork sausage typical of Lombardy, Trentino South-Tyrol and Veneto. If you won’t find Luganega, use any fresh good pork sausage and your Risotto alla Monzese will turn out just as delicious!
Serves 4, Preparation time 20 mins + 2 h for meat broth, Cooking time 30 mins
- 300 gr of Carnaroli rice
- 150 g Luganega sausage or fresh pork sausage
- 1 teaspoon saffron or saffron powder pistils
- 2L of meat broth (beef or veal or both)
- 50 gr unsalted butter as cold as possible
- 1 glass of red or white wine
- 1 medium white onion
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil – EVOO, a tablespoon
- Grated Parmigiano cheese, to taste
- Black Ground Pepper, to taste
For the broth: put it in 1 litre of cold water together with meat, onion, carrot and celery in a pot.
Add salt and pepper grains, let it simmer for about 2 hours. Keep the broth always hot, it will be used to cook the rice and therefore it must be hot, not lukewarm.
Tip: if you are going to use saffron pistils, put them to soak in a glass of hot broth. If you’ll use powdered saffron, that won’t be necessary.
Slice up the sausages’ casing, take out the minced meat inside and cut it into chunks.
Chop the onion not too finely and brown it in 25 gr of butter and a drizzle of Evoo. As soon as the onion softens, add sausage chunks making them well seasoned and browned for about 5 mins, turn up the heat and blend with half a glass of white or red wine.
Tip: sausage should be cooked as first because in this way it will release its fat giving it more flavor. If you had to add it halfway through cooking the risotto, it would be boiled and would not have the same result.
As soon as you can’t smell the alcohol anymore, lower the heat and add the rice making it toast for a few minutes, 2-3 max, then blend with the remaining wine by slightly raising the heat again, then lower the heat as soon as the wine has evaporated and start adding a ladle of boiling broth and stir.
Cook risotto for about 20 minutes, adding more broth a little at a time, stirring continuously in the last 5 minutes.
Halfway through cooking, add a glass of broth in which you have put the saffron pistils to soak or simply add the saffron powder, a pinch of black pepper and stir.
When the rice is cooked, turn off the heat, add the rest of the butter possibly cold, a sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese and serve.