(for 5 people)
350g Arborio rice, (you may use also Carnaroli or Vialone Nano)
2 pigeons (250g each)
40g of celery
40g of carrot
1 medium clove garlic
4 sage leaves
a sprig of rosemary (about 8cm)
80ml of peeled tomatoes
100ml dry white wine
a small piece of cinnamon
vegetable stock (n.2)
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
50g of Parmesan cheese (optional)
Clean your pigeons and cut them into 4 pieces each, keeping also the liver.
Finely chop: celery, carrot, onion, garlic, sage and rosemary. Put 5 tablespoons
of extra virgin olive oil in a saucepan and gently fry the chopped items for about 6 minutes, then you add the pigeons and let the meat brown until it changes its color. Add the clove and the cinnamon. Add the white wine and let it evaporate and after about 10minutes add the peeled tomatoes.
During the cooking help yourself using the vegetable stock (n.2). Cook for about a good hour . Add salt.
Let the meat cool and then take the flesh out of the bones of the pigeons and cut it roughly using a knife.
Put the bones in a saucepan with the vegetable stock and put it back to boil.
Strain the bones off the stock and add it to your pigeon sauce.
In a saucepan with three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil toast the rice and then cover it with vegetable stock (n.2), then pour in the pigeon sauce, stir and let it cook till you reach the cooking time of the rice.
Turn off the heat and add white pepper and nutmeg and stir until you risotto becomes very creamy. Optionally, you can also mix in some parmesan cheese, but not much.
During the first year I spent in Tuscany working in restaurants, I was introduced for the first time to the risotto with pigeon and at first I was almost shocked, but I had to change my mind immediately, because for me it is the best risotto among those ones with meat. It has a very particular taste. It must be performed very carefully. Divine.
Do not forget : this pigeon sauce is great with tagliolini and tagliatelle too.