Monday, June 10, 2013

Recipe: Risotto with Italian Sausage and Cream

I just had a pig butchered for me at the local organic farm. So tonight, instead of the usual Risotto Primavera, I'll be making Risotto with Italian sausage and cream. Vegan Husband will have to have a salad (!).

(I'll take a picture tonight and add it to this post at that time.)

If you've never had risotto, you've got to try it! It's a classic Italian recipe and a favorite at my house.

Risotto is a rice dish made with Arborio (or more simply, medium grain rice). It is a more time-consuming recipe than other rice dishes. Instead of just dumping the water and rice into a pot and forgetting about it for 20 to 40 minutes, you gradually add broth as it's absorbed by the rice. Even though you do have to watch it closely for 20 plus minutes, it is very easy to make and the you end up with a nice creamy dish. It is versatile and you can easily substitute ingredients, but you always use Parmesan cheese.

1 lb. bulk Italian sausage (or sausages with casing removed), either sweet or hot depending upon your preference
2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 chopped onion
1/2 tablespoon fresh chopped basil (Or 1/2 teaspoon dried basil)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups arborio (medium grain) rice
3 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth or stock
½ cup cream
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

Cook sausage over medium-high heat, breaking into small pieces, approximately 4 minutes, until completely browned.
Drain and set aside.
Bring the 3 1/2 cups of broth to a simmer on the stove top and keep hot.
Melt butter in a pan (I use the same pan as I cooked the sausage in.)
Add garlic, onion, basil, salt, and pepper.
Cook over medium heat, stirring, approximately 3 minutes, until the onions are softened.
Add rice and mix well.
Add 1 cup of the hot broth and bring to a low boil.
Stay with the rice and stir occasionally.
After the rice absorbs the broth, add ½ cup of hot broth.
Keep repeating until all 3 cups of broth is absorbed and your rice is nicely cooked and creamy.
Stir in the cream and heat it through.
Add the Parmesan cheese and parsley.
Give a quick stir and serve hot.

A few notes
Don't use brown rice as it takes to long to absorb the liquid and will spell disaster.
If you want to lower the fat, replace the cream with more broth or 1/2 cup wine.
This would be good with roasted red peppers or your favorite veggies.
You could skip the parsley if you don't have it. You could also substitute oregano for the basil.