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FENNEL RISOTTO WITH MINI SAUSAGE MEATBALLS

Cooking Time 40 minutes - Feeds 2


Take your taste buds on a trip to Italy with this beautiful sausage, lemon and fennel risotto - every mouthful of this creamy and flavorful dish will leave you wanting more!


Ingredients

  • 2 knobs of butter.

  • 150g of risotto rice such as Arborio.

  • 1 small onion, thinly diced.

  • 1 stick of celery, thinly diced.

  • 1 small fennel, thinly sliced (save the herby tops).

  • 1L of chicken stock.

  • 180ml of white wine.

  • 25g of grated parmesan.

  • 3 good quality sausages.

  • Zest from one lemon.

  • 20g of panko breadcrumbs.

  • Fresh parsley, roughly chopped.


Method


  1. Begin by heating the stock over medium heat. In a separate pan, add a drizzle of olive oil and one knob of butter. Add the onions, celery, fennel and season to taste. Fry the vegetables slowly for about 10 minutes or until they become soft without browning.

  2. Once the vegetables are done, turn up the heat to high and add the rice. Keep stirring and after a minute or so, the rice will start to turn a little translucent. Pour in the wine and let it reduce until almost gone.

  3. Lower the heat to medium-low and add the first ladle of stock, along with some seasoning. Add one ladle of stock at a time and continue stirring, allowing the rice to absorb the stock before adding the next one. This will take around 20 minutes to cook, and the rice should have a slight bite to it. Add more stock if necessary, or use boiling water if you run out of stock.

  4. Once the risotto is done, remove the pan from the heat, add the last knob of butter and parmesan, mix well, cover with a lid, and allow it to rest.

  5. Remove the sausages from their casings and roll them into mini meatballs. In a separate frying pan, add a drizzle of olive oil and fry the meatballs over medium-high heat for 7-10 minutes or until they are cooked through. Once done, remove the meatballs from the pan, keeping any juices in the pan.

  6. In the same pan that you cooked the meatballs, add the panko breadcrumbs and fry over medium heat until golden brown and crispy. Just before they are done, add the fresh parsley and lemon zest.

  7. Divide the risotto between two plates or bowls, then place the meatballs on top. Scatter the crispy panko over the top and the saved fennel tops. Finish off with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.


Recipe note: You can choose to prepare steps 5 and 6 simultaneously with the risotto, if you prefer.

 

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