CHICAGO (WLS) -- There is a new food series at Tuscan Hen Market in Chicago's North Center neighborhood.
It is called the Taste of Italy series and it runs through Sept. 4. Each week, there is a different menu highlighting different regions throughout Italy.
One upcoming featured dish is a risotta from the Piedmont region. Tuscan Hen Market's owner shared the recipe with us, if you want to try making it yourself. Or, it's on the Taste of Italy Series menu through mid-June.
Risotto with Sausage & Beans
- cup cranberry or cannellini beans dried, soaked and boiled; you can sub 15 ounces of canned beans if desired
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- cup onion, finely chopped
- cup pork sausage, crumbled and casing removed
- 5 cups beef broth
- 1 cups Arborio or other imported Italian rice for risotto
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated
- 1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- salt & freshly ground black pepper
1. Soak the dried beans overnight or for at least 6 hours. Drain and then boil them in fresh water. Let the beans steep in their liquid until ready to use. (For a quicker method, use 15 oz. canned beans)
2. Pour the broth into a saucepan. Turn on the heat to medium low and to keep it at a slow simmer.
3. Put the oil and chopped onion in a heavy bottom sauce pot. Turn on the heat to medium, and cook the onion, stirring frequently, until it becomes just translucent but not colored. Add the crumbled sausage and cook, turning it over with a spoon until it is brown all over.
4. Add the rice and sauté for a minute until the grains are coated with the sausage drippings.
5. Reserving 1 cup of water from the bean pot, retrieve the cooked beans using a colander spoon or another slotted spoon, and put them in the skillet. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of water from the bean pot, and mash about half the beans, pressing them against the bottom of the skillet with the wooden spoon. Cook for about a minute, turning the contents of the pot over with the spoon from time to time.
6. Turn the heat to medium high and add 1 cup of simmering broth to the rice, stirring it until absorbed. Add more liquid one cup at a time stirring until it is absorbed. Finish cooking the rice, stirring always and adding broth when needed, until it is tender but firm to the bite, about 25 minutes.
7. Take the pot off heat and swirl in the butter and grated Parmesan, turning the risotto over four or five times. Add the chopped parsley, salt, and ground pepper to taste; stir once or twice more; transfer to a warm platter; and serve at once.