Sausage Risotto

This recipe courtesy of Easy Living Magazine

Serves : 4  –  Prep Time : 10 mins  –  Cook Time : 25 mins  – Cals per serving : 491  – Fat : 23.5g

Ingredients:  6 good-quality Italian-style sausages, skinned; about 1l (32 fl oz) chicken or vegetable stock; 1 tblsp olive oil;
1 onion, finely chopped; 225g (7 oz) Arborio or carnaroli rice; 125ml (4 fl oz) white wine; 2 tblsp chopped flat-leaf parsley;
75g (2 ½ oz) grated Parmesan; 2 tblsp, heaped, crème fraiche.

Sausage Risotto

  1. Fry the sausages in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat for about 20 minutes, or until cooked.
  2. While the sausages are cooking, bring the stock to a gentle simmer in a large saucepan. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan.  Add the onion and cook, stirring, over a moderate heat for 5 minutes, or until soft.  The onion should soften but not change colour.  Add the rice to the onion and stir gently for 2 minutes to coat the grains with the oil. Add the wine, stir and allow almost all of it to evaporate.
  3. Add enough of the simmering stock to just cover the rice.  Stir frequently, and wait until the rice has absorbed most of the stock before adding any more.  Repeat the process, stirring well and adding stock until the rice is cooked (if you run out of stock, continue with simmering water).  The whole process takes about 18-25 minutes.  The rice should be soft but still retain a little bite.
  4. Cut the sausages into 2cm (¾ in) slices and stir into the risotto after 15 minutes of cooking and continue to cook and stir until the rice is done.  Remove from the heat and add the parsley, 2 tblsp of the Parmesan and the crème fraiche.  Cover and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with the remaining Parmesan.
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Toad in the hole

The glory of this dish depends wholly on the sausages you use. So often its ruined due to the cheap, tasteless varieties that are sold prepacked, stuffed full of breadcrumbs and fatty minced pork. The humble sausage should be thought of more as a delicious parcel of meat and herbs carefully blended to give delicious results. We’re so lucky to have butchers, bakers, fishmongers and other specialised foodshops staffed by experts who are only too pleased to advise us on what to buy and how to cook it. Butchers all over the country have delicious recipes which have been carefully guarded and handed down through the years. The best sausages should be packed with freshly minced meats, herbs and spices as they’re a real delicacy – and they turn the dish into a gourmet feast.

Serves: 4; Prep: 15 mins; Cook: 1 hr plus 30 mins standing; Cost £6.75; Cals per portion: 720

Ingredients: 225g / 8oz plain organic flour; 2 free range eggs; 600ml/1 pint of organic milk; 1 tbsp vegetable oil; 2 onions, sliced; 8 large, quality sausages

  • Sieve the flour into a large bowl with a pinch of salt. Both these points are important as the sieving adds air to the flour which is needed for light crispy batter, and salt should always be added to flour to prevent it tasting bland.
  • Make a well in flour and whisk together eggs and milk with lots of freshly milled black pepper and a pinch of salt. Pour milk into well and whisk until fflour has been drawn in and a smooth batter is formed. If it’s lumpy, keep whisking like mad to break up the lumps which are formed by pockets of flour.
  • Preheat oven to Mark 7 / 220oC / 425oF and leave batter to stand for 30 mins to allow the starch particles to burst. Heat oil in roasting tin and cook sausages and onions for 20 mins, then pour over batter and bake for 40 mins until it is well risen and crispy.