Primitivo is a variety of red grape grown across Puglia, which is among Italy's largest wine-growing regions.
- • 1 litre (4 cups) chicken or vegetable stock
- • 4 (about 320g) Italian-style sausages
- • 2 tablespoons olive oil
- • 200g Swiss brown mushrooms, thickly sliced
- • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
- • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- • 1 1/2 cups (330g) arborio rice
- • 1 cup (250ml) dry red wine (Primitivo, if possible)
- • 1/2 cup (40g) finely grated parmesan
- • 1/2 cup finely chopped chives
- • Shaved parmesan and chopped chives, extra, to serve
Bring stock to the boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat and keep at a gentle simmer.
Remove and discard the skins of the sausages. Heat a large saucepan over high heat. Add the sausage meat and cook, using a wooden spoon to break the meat into small pieces, for 2-3 minutes or until brown all over. Transfer to a plate.
Add half the oil to the pan and add the mushrooms. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until golden. Transfer to the plate.
Add remaining oil to the pan. Add onion and garlic and cook stirring for 5 mins or until the onion softens.
Add rice and stir for 2 minutes, or until grains appear slightly glassy. Add wine and stir until the liquid is completely absorbed.
Add 1/2 cup of stock, when it is completely absorbed add more, stirring until absorbed. Repeat until all the stock has been used, and stirring until the rice is tender yet firm to the bite and the risotto is creamy.
Remove from the heat and stir in the sausage, mushrooms, cheese and chives. Season to taste.
Spoon evenly among serving bowls. Garnish with extra shaved parmesan and chives.
The dish was inspired by his grandmother who always used these ingredients to cook a hearty stew for the whole family.
Mario wanted to combine another ingredient to create a new dish; pasta wasn’t suitable as it would split in the liquid – rice was a better option, and the risotto holds the strong flavours of the dish.