not-quite-so-easy risotto

While we’re talking risotto, I’ll throw in my favorite recipe. This recipe is based on Kristin Beauchamp’s recipe in Hot Providence, but I’ve altered the ratio of ingredients a bit to make it more of a ‘main course’ sort of dish. I made this a week or so ago to break in my new dutch oven/chili pot (that I absolutely love). I like to use half hot/spicy italian sausage and half mild italian sausage, but you can alter it to fit your spicy-food tolerances. I’d like to stress the importance of freshly grated parmesan cheese here. Up until I made this recipe, I’d always just used the pre-shredded stuff in bags from the grocery store. I decided to splurge when making this and I got the real stuff, and it was worth every single penny. Bag-grated and freshly grated/shaved are worlds apart. Even if you don’t try out this recipe, please try real parmesan if you’ve never before.

Risotto with Sausage, Peas, and Mushrooms

6 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 pound Italian pork sausage, chunked up
1/3 pound white button mushrooms, brushed clean and sliced (my husband isn’t a huge fan of mushrooms, so you can add more if you’re more tolerant)
2 cups pearl rice (the original recipe calls for arborio, vialone nano, or carnaroli, but I couldn’t find any of those anywhere)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup shelled frozen peas (just throw in whatever gets it green enough for your liking)
salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (plus more shaved for topping)

Pour the broth into a saucepan and bring just to a simmer. In an enameled dutch oven or risotto pan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter with the oil. Add the onion and saute until tender and translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add the sausages and cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon to break up the lumps, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the rice and cook, stirring until the kernels are hot and coated with oil, about 2 minutes.
Add the wine and continue to cook, stirring often, until the liquid is absorbed.

Add the broth 1/2 cup at a time (I keep the broth in a pot on the stove and just add it a ladle at a time), stirring constantly and making sure the liquid has been absorbed before adding more. When the rice is about half cooked, stir in the peas and season with salt and pepper. The risotto is done when the rice grains are creamy on the outside and firm yet tender to the bite, 20 to 25 minutes total.

Rice varies, so you may not need all of the broth or you may need more. If more liquid is required, use hot water. Remove the risotto from the heat. Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and the cheese. Spoon the risotto into warmed soup bowls and serve immediately with extra cheese for topping.


1 Response to “not-quite-so-easy risotto”

  1. January 10, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    My mom gave me Hot Providence for my birthday on the 1st. It’s already a favorite cookbook.

    Well, it’s the only of my cookbooks I cook out of. I’m not a cookbook person overall.

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