I just like saying it: salsiccia, sedano e riso. Of course, you could also say “a dish of sausage, celery and rice”, which neatly sums up the recipe: difficult to categorize (is it a soup? a stew? surely not a risotto?) – yet delicious.
I’ve had this recipe tucked away in a little corner of my brain since I first saw it in Carol Field’s In Nonna’s Kitchen. To continue a theme, it is another essentially seasonless dish, easily made with commonly available ingredients. But instead of making it by default, it’s worth putting a bit of care into its preparation. Like in all simple matters, details count the most.
Chopping the aromatics (onions, celery and very important, celery leaves) as finely as possible mimics the size of the rice and gives the final dish a soothing, uniform texture. Although you could use water or any kind of vegetable or meat broth, I splurged and used a very rich homemade chicken broth, which gave the final product a delicious silkiness. Finally, before serving, re-adjust the liquid level to your preference – especially as the rice will continue to absorb liquid if it sits. I like a soupiness to this dish, but you may prefer a thicker texture. Either way, it is a satisfying weeknight meal. And with a little care, it can become something elegant and sophisticated in its simplicity – and that I’d be happy to serve to the most particular of guests.Recipe: Salaicca, Sedano e Riso serves 4 In a soup pot, sauté very finely chopped onion, celery and celery leaves in olive oil. Add a small amount of peppercorns, fennel seeds, oregano and a bay leaf. Then mix in two spicy Italian pork sausages, removed from their casings and roughly chopped. Finally, add 1 cup of Italian rice (my favorite is Vialone Nano) and enough chicken broth (or broth or water) to cover. Simmer gently, until the rice is tender. Adjust the liquid level, season to taste, and serve with a sprinkling of olive oil and grated Parmiggano-Reggiano.