My Grandmother is one of the most amazing cooks I have ever met and will forever be someone I admire not only for her cooking, but for her warm and generous heart as well. No one has or ever will enter her home hungry and leave the same way. Back in the day, she would gladly prepare whatever meal you desired. There was no such thing as leftovers and every night was a full, hot dinner even though she worked outside of the home each day.
As a child I often spent summers with my Grandparents and enjoyed watching my Grandma “dance” gracefully around her modest kitchen, preparing pasta, sauce, risotto, soups, chicken or ravioli. Even eggs were served with love and class. She never had an island with built in sinks, tons of cabinets and counter space, or stainless steel appliances. The room is barely big enough to fit a table and open the fridge at the same time, but that never stops us from gathering in numbers to chat, laugh and of course eat.
I am thankful everyday for the gift I have been given in my Grandma Louise. She has not only taught me much of what I have learned about cooking, but about living a full and generous life as well. While at 87 she is a bit slower in the kitchen and leaves the cooking up to others when we visit, just being in her presence is enough for me. And while we are a couple generations apart, we are sisters at heart.
Better is a dinner of herbs where love is than a fattened ox and hatred with it. - Proverbs 15:17
Grandma Luigina's Risotto:
1 Sm/Med Onion (diced fine)
Minced Garlic (as much or little as you like...I go heavy on garlic)
1-2 lb Ground Sausage
2 C Rice
Approx 4 C. Chicken Broth
Saffron (a pinch)
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Sauté celery, onion and garlic in olive oil in large stock pot until tender. Add sausage and sauté until cooked through. Add rice, saffron and enough soup to cover the rice. Cover and simmer, slowly adding more soup and stirring as needed. Add a splash of spaghetti sauce and Parmesan cheese to desired taste. Once the rice is cooked to desired tenderness, serve with optional warmed chicken broth on top and Parmesan cheese.