The other day, I was craving for risotto, although I knew how to make one, I wanted to incorporate other flavors. So I searched for some recipes on the internet and found a nice and easy sausage risotto, with mini sausage polpette by Genarro Contada.
Looking through my refrigerator though, I realized that we ran out of Italian sausages, but we had other types.
There are two types of longganiza – recado, which refers to the type that is more savory, spicy and garlicky- and mostly available in the most northern provinces of the country, and hamonado – slightly sweeter, perhaps influenced by Malay and Chinese cuisine.
For our risotto, what was available and possibly good was Vigan Longganisa– a recado type of sausage from Vigan City, Ilocos that usually has an orange color to it. For me this type is the most fit for risotto as it has a good balance of flavor between salty, spicy and garlicky. It isn’t overly salty and the meat isn’t too lean nor fatty, but packs enough flavor to make risotto delicious.
If vigan longganisa is not available for you, any savory sausage is good– like italian sausage. However, if you are Filipino and you do have access to Vigan Longganisa, go for it because it’s all worth it!
Vigan Longganiza Risotto with Vigan Longganisa Polpette
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
- 4 links/sausages of vigan longganisa (or any sausage of choice), meat removed from casing.
- About 2 cups of uncooked arborio rice (or whichever rice you will use for risotto)
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic chopped
- 1/2 cup of cabbage minced finely
- About 4-6 cups of hot vegetable stock
- 1-2 cups of milk (or more according to taste)
- 1-2 fresh tomatoes, chopped
- A pinch of anise seeds
- 1/4 cup of flour
- 1 1/2 cups of parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon of finely chopped parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
1. For the polpette/meatballs, use the meat of 1 sausage/longganisa link, removed from the casing.
2. Add 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese and a pinch of finely chopped parsley and form into small meatballs. Coat with flour and dust off any extra flour.
3. Fry the meatballs on a pot with a small amount of oil until brown and slightly crispy. set aside.
4. Use the same pot to saute the remaining sausage/longganisa onions, garlic and anise seeds until meat is cooked and onions are translucent. Add the cabbage.
5. Add the uncooked arborio rice and saute until the rice is slightly translucent. Add some salt.
6. Add the white wine, 1 ladle at a time. Wait for the liquid to reduce while stirring frequently, before adding the next ladle of white wine.
7. Once liquid is reduced, add a ladleful or half a cup of vegetable stock and stir frequently until the liquid may seem to have been been absorb by the rice. Then add another half cup or ladleful and stir once again. It is important that you do not rush this process as adding too much water will give you a porridge-like consistency. This will go on for about 20-25 minutes.
8. In the last five to six minutes, replace the vegetable stock to one ladleful or 1/2 cup of milk, adding only when the liquid is absorbed.
9. Add parmesan cheese and adjust the taste with salt and pepper.
10. To know if it is ready, the rice should be al dente. It shouldn’t have too little liquid so that when you stir it with a spoon, it is a bit pasty like mashed potatoes. If this happens, just add one ladleful of stock and stir. It should also not be soupy like a porridge. When you run your spoon through the pot, it should form a clean line, but the rice should almost immediately go back in place.
11. Serve with fresh chopped tomatoes, mini polpettes, parmesan cheese and chopped parsley on top.
While cooking, my white wine actually burst through and it made the dish a bit too sour. I balanced the flavors by adding more milk and parmesan cheese for it to neutralize and even complement the sour taste. The fresh tomatoes also help cut through the acid and gives a bright flavor to the dish.