Minestra

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 6 people

  • 1 (about 500gm) cotechino (see note)
  • 2.5 litres (9 cups) chicken or beef stock (or combination of both), heated
  • 80 ml (1/3 cup) olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 400 gm (2 cups) carnaroli rice
  • 100 ml dry white wine
  • 40 gm (½ cup) finely grated parmesan
  • ½ cup (loosely packed) coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 mandarins, finely grated rind only (or to taste)
01   Place cotechino in a saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the simmer over medium heat, reduce heat to low and cook for 1½ hours. Remove cotechino and cool completely. Halve and cut one half into 1cm pieces and set aside. Reserve remaining half for another use (see note).
02   Bring stock to the boil. Season to taste with sea salt, reduce heat to low and simmer until required. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat, add onion and cook until translucent (8-10 minutes). Add rice and stir to combine. Add white wine and cook until evaporated (2 minutes). Gradually add stock 1 cup at a time, adding more as liquid is absorbed and stirring occasionally. After 10 minutes add cotechino and continue cooking, adding stock until rice is al dente and all liquid is absorbed (25 minutes). Remove from heat. Add parmesan and parsley, then season to taste with mandarin rind and freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately.
Note Cotechino is a large pork sausage from Emilia-Romagna in northern Italy. It is usually available from Italian butchers and specialist delicatessens but you may need to order it in advance. Leftover cotechino may be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Eat it warmed and served with steamed vegetables and salsa verde.
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