The single most important thing to remember when making a risotto is that it's all about restraint. Gently does it with the heat - a steady ticking over is all that is required. Use small ladlefuls of hot stock and go easy on the flavours - the extra ingredients are there to flavour the rice, not to poke out of the mound in lumpy competition. That goes too for the last-minute addition of the parmesan and butter.
1 - 1.2 litres light chicken stock
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic
3 tbsp olive oil
2 Italian pork sausages, skin removed
450g risotto rice
1/2 cup white wine
25g extra butter
1/3 cup freshly grated parmigiano
Heat the chicken stock in a pot and keep on a low simmer.
In a heavy-based pot, gently cook the onion and garlic in oil and butter until very soft and pale golden.
Add the pork sausage, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Stir for a few minutes until the sausage is cooked.
Now add the rice and stir until it is well coated. Add the wine, stir and cook until it has almost completely bubbled down.
Add a ladleful of the hot stock (about 150ml), stirring until the liquid has just about bubbled away. Add another ladle and continue to stir, being sure to stir the bottom of the pot.
The heat should be on medium - a steady ticking over. Keep adding stock, stirring constantly as the rice cooks and the liquid is absorbed and evaporates.
The cooking time will vary according to the pot, heat and rice, but after about 20 minutes check the rice. It is done when the grains are tender but still firm.
You might not use all the stock but if you do and the rice is not quite done, add some hot water. When the rice is almost cooked through, remove the pot from the heat and stir through the butter and parmesan. Check the seasoning and serve.
This recipes is featured in the book, Autumn is available now in all good bookstores RRP $34.95. To order direct call 1300 656 059 or visit www.smh.com.au/store