Plaxy locatelli shows us how to entertain without resentment.
I love a get together. Unfortunately I was put off entertaining at home by my mother when I was a child, who seemed so stressed, never sat down with her guests as she would be dashing to the sink/oven/chopping board to do “the last thing and then I will sit down” with burns on her hands from over hasty retrievals from the oven and a tea towel wrapped round one of her digits, soaked in blood, from hurried chopping.Then there was the four hour clean up that was always done with resentment (dad would have slipped off to bed) and I was always roped in to take the rubbish out and empty the ashtrays. Luckily, I co-own a restaurant, so more often then not I will escape “my turn” of inviting people over for a return match at home, and invite everyone to the restaurant. They always appear happy with this arrangement and I don’t get the washing up. On the very rare occasion I do cook for guests, there are rules. It has to be something that I prepared earlier that can be reheated (I do a fairly mean curry) or my usual one pot wonder, Risotto.
I was fortunate to be shown by my husband Giorgio, king of Risotto, how to make it, and I have to say, it always seems to be met with approval all round.
Sausage and pea risotto
150g fresh or frozen peas
3 Good pork sausages
2.5 litres of chicken stock
1 onio, chopped finely
400g Carnaroli rice
125ml dry white wine
2 tablespoons tomato passata
salt and pepper
added at the end:
100g finely grated parmesan cheese
75g cold butter, cut into small dice
Chop the sausages into small pieces
melt the butter in a heavy based pan and add the onion and sausages. Cook gently until the onion is soft, but not coloured.
Add the rice and stir around to coat in the butter and ‘toast’ the grains, ensuring all the rice is warm.
Add the wine, ensuring it has almost evaporated completely until the onion and rice are dry.
Start to add the stock, a ladleful or two at a time, stirring and scraping the rice in the pan as you do so. add the tomato passata.
After each addition of stock has almost evaporated, add the next ladleful.
Continue to cook and stir for 15-17 minutes, adding stock continuously as above. After 12-14 minutes add the peas.
Slow up on the stock at the end, so the rice doesnt become too wet and soupy, as when you add the butter and parmesan at the end, it will become too sloppy.
The risotto is ready when the grains are soft, but still al dente.
Turn down the heat and allow the risotto and allow to rest for 1 minute.
With a wooden spoon, vigorously beat in the cold butter and finally the parmesan.
Season to taste.