Also called “risotto alla monzese”, the luganega risotto is the signature dish of Monza, Lombard town included in the Brianza territory, the geographical area located north of Milan.
Even though it is a dish born in southern Italy, today luganega is inserted in the list of Traditional foods in Lombardy and Slow Food Garrison in Trentino. Let’s discover together the recipe for this delicious and simple risotto! Luganega is nothing more than a fresh sausage, usually prepared with minced pork and, depending on the region and tradition, sometimes also with goat, sheep or horse meat. Monza’s luganega, in addition to being made with pork, is enriched with parmesan, beef broth and a bit ‘of marsala wine. According to some Roman historical sources, it seems that luganega was called lucanica precisely because it originates from Lucania. Over time, however, the Roman legions learned the techniques for the production of this sausage and brought it with them in military campaigns in northern Italy. According to tradition, it’s a duty to eat this dish on the last Thursday of January, on the occasion of the “Stake of Giubiana”, a festivity whose origins date back to the Celts, during which, to ward off bad luck, a puppet depicting a witch was burned.
350 grams Carnaroli rice
50 grams butter
200 grams luganega
½ cup of white wine
100 grams grated Parmesan cheese
1 sachet of saffron
Freshly ground black pepper
First, peel and chop the onion, then take the sausage and divide in half; reduce the first part into small pieces and cut the second in larger pieces. In a saucepan, melt half of the butter, then sauté the chopped onions and half of the sausage into small pieces. When the onions are golden, pour the rice into the pot, and toast it for a couple of minutes. After this phase, start cooking the risotto by pouring the broth a ladle at a time, stirring occasionally to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Aside, in a frying pan, cook the chunks of sausage remained. At 10-15 minutes of cooking the rice melt the sachet of saffron in a ladle of broth and tip it in the rice. When the rice is almost cooked, remove the pan from the heat, pour in the sausage seared in the pan, parmesan and butter. Stir well until it will be smooth and creamy. Serve hot with grated Parmesan accompanying.