Sausage & Courgette Risotto

Yep, it’s been two risottos for us this week but I make no apology, having not made any for quite some time I’ve had a bit of a resurgence of interest in my favourite cold weather comfort food!.  I tend to make up my risotto recipes and ingredients as I go along, based on what happens to be lurking in the fridge.  I find that most of my favourite ingredients I’d use to make up a pasta sauce work equally as well, or better, cooked with rice in a risotto. This sausage and courgette risotto is the first time I’ve made this, normally it’s my staple sauce for a quick penne pasta supper (just making a sauce out of the shallots, garlic, chilli, sausage, courgette and passata).

Enough for two very hungry or greedy adults:
2 x shallots
a clove of garlic
pinch of dried chilli flakes
a small knob of butter
olive oil
a medium sized courgette
arborio rice – 200g
a small glass of white wine
hot chicken stock – 700ml
3 tbsp of tomato passata, or 1 tbsp tom puree
Italian salami or French saucisse seche – 100g
a handful of grated Parmesan, plus a little extra to finish
1 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
a handful of stoned black olives (optional)
salt and pepper

Start the risotto base, by finally chopping the shallots and garlic, and slicing the courgettes (first in quarter lengthways, then sliced to a thickness of a pound coin).  Place the garlic, shallots and chilli in a heavy based pan with a good glug of olive oil and the knob of butter.  Fry until softened then add the courgettes and salami/saucisse for a minute or two.  Now stir in the rice, ensuring the grains get a good coating of the oil/butter.  Pour the wine and tomato passata into the rice and stir well.  Once the liquid has evaporated add a ladleful of the hot stock.  Continue to stir fairly regularly, and once the stock has been absorbed by the rice add another ladleful.  Continue adding the stock until the rice is plumped up and tender, but still has a tiny bit of bit to it.

Stir in the parmesan, parsley and olives if using them, and cook for a moment or two more.  Season to taste and serve with a grating of parmesan over the top.

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