Sausage and savoy cabbage risotto

The other day I bought rice on the internet. Tired of going from shop to shop to find the right rice for my risotto, I went on Amazon, and thanks to my BF prime subscription (you get free 2 day shipping) I ordered about 9lb of riso bello arborio rice. When it got home I decided I had to cook it asap, and I knew I wanted something hearty and I also knew I had some savoy cabbage in the fridge that had been there for a while and needed to be cooked. I started thinking and I decided sausage and savoy cabbage should be a pretty good combo.

The next day, we went climbing with a friend and at the end we were starving, so I decided to throw together a dinner for all of us based on the sausage and savoy cabbage rice. it was pretty good thinking! We loved it. I even got a message from my friend the day after saying the rice was great and we (i.e., me) should make some more risotto soon.

Sausage and savoy cabbage risotto

Ingredients

  • 4 oz. of arborio rice per person
  • 1 cup of broth per person
  • 1/2 lb of sausage
  • 1 small savoy cabbage (napa cabbage would also work)
  • EVOO
  • pepper

Directions

  1. I started out by roasting up some sausage taken out of its encasing in a bit of oil. While the sausage was roasting, I cleaned my savoy cabbage from its tougher leaves, cut it into strips and washed it. I then added the cabbage to the sausage and salted it lightly to help it wilt. When the cabbage was wilted, I added the rice (about 4 oz. per person) and I let it toast for a couple of minutes. When the liquid from the cabbage had been absorbed I started adding beef broth. As with all risotto, you add the broth one ladle at a time, waiting for all the broth to be absorbed before adding a new ladle of broth. To cook your risotto, it should take about 1 cup of broth per 4 oz. of rice and about 20 minutes from when you start adding the broth. Finally, right before serving, I added a generous amount of black pepper.
  2. Loved it! Need to do this again! Will not invite my friend, so I have one less person to share this risotto with!

Polenta gnocchi with savoy cabbage and cheese

Yesterday I had to make use of some of my leftover polenta from my dinner with friends. Now there are a lot of things you can do with leftover polenta, that mainly involve baking it with some sort of meat sauce or grilling it with cheese, but I wanted something different.

Scouting the web, i found a very interesting recipe for polenta gnocchi. I was sold.

Polenta gnocchi are made mixing leftover polenta with egg and flour and then cooking and using them as gnocchi. I had never heard of them despite coming from the town of polenta. Well they were great.

I decided to add buckwheat flour to give it a more rustic feel and the final result reminded me of the traditional pizzoccheri. They were a great way of using polenta in an unusual way and they are a perfect dish for a cold winter day.

Polenta gnocchi with savoy cabbage and cheese

Polenta gnocchi with savoy cabbage and cheese

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb cooked polenta
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 small savoy cabbage
  • 1/2 cup diced melting cheese like fontina
  • 1+1 tbsp butter
  • 1 clove garlic
  • sage
  • salt

Directions

  1. Put the cold precooked polenta in a mixer and blend it with the egg until creamy.
  2. Add the buckwheat flour. You will need more or less 1/3 of a cup, but a lot depends on how sticky your polenta. Add enough flour to get a soft dough that doesn’t stick to your hand.
  3. Form the gnocchi on a floured surface by rolling out the dough in long logs, more or less as thick as a thumb and then cut them in gnocchi. If you want the gnocchi to look super nice, roll them on a fork to give them the characteristic stripes (I never do). Place the gnocchi in the fridge while you prepare the sauce.
  4. Cut the savoy cabbage in stripes, wash it and stew it with a bit of water until wilted. Drain it and sautee it with 1 spoon butter and salt until cooked.
  5. Prepare the cheese by dicing it and the rest of the butter by melting it with the sage and the garlic.
  6. Cook the gnocchi in salted boiling water in batches. Throw 10-20 gnocchi in the pot of boiling water and fish them out once they start floating. Drain them and add them to a bowl. Dress with cheese, cabbage and butter and keep layering the ingredients in the bowl until you run out.
  7. Do not mix the gnocchi in the bowl, as they are rather soft and would break. If the cheese didn’t melt much, you can microwave the bowl for a couple of minutes.
  8. Serve piping hot.