Italian Sausage Risotto
a.k.a Beginners’ Risotto / Manly Risotto
This was D’s first attempt at risotto and I have the suspicion that it will not be the last. I took this recipe on Deb’s blog – yes, I know, twice in a week, it’s not very original but just take a look at her pictures and you’ll understand the addiction. Plus, I love risotto and I will try my luck with any kind that I can afford. But as I said, just like on Smitten Kitchen, the person who blogs was not the one to cook this time. D is usually the meat specialist here and since he insisted on going out after work, I accepted at the condition that when we come back, he would be the one making our first ever risotto with meat – I had some more work to do. So we got home after trying 2 nice wines and whetting ourappetites with some slices of 15 months ham at Bar Jamon and D reluctantly took the recipe and got to work – he could not argue: for once, the recipe was in English!
“Risotto? I have never made risotto! Isn’t it complicated?” Not really, no. Although he served it with some hesitation, he was quite proud once we tasted it: “Well, I don’t have too much credit because it really is the recipe but… it’s really good!!” And when I told him that it was originally a Martha Stewart recipe… you should have seen his proud look – especially since I always complain that Martha Stewart recipes are too complicated for me! (and he does admit being secretly in love with her – secretly?)
So here you go, you have D’s approval for a tasty, manly risotto that is perfect for beginners, and you too will be able to say “It’s from Martha!”!
14 oz diced tomatoes in juice
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 pound sweet or hot Italian sausage, casings removed
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1/2 cup Arborio rice
1/4 cup dry white wine or chicken broth
1/2 bunch flat-leaf spinach (5-7 ounces), washed well, tough stems removed, chopped (about 4 cups)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving (optional)
1 tablespoons butter
In a small saucepan, combine tomatoes with their juice and 1 1/2 cups water. Bring to a simmer and keep warm over low heat.
In a large pot, heat oil over medium. Add sausage and onion; season with salt and pepper. Cook, breaking up sausage with a spoon, until sausage is opaque and onion has softened, 3 to 5 minutes.
Add rice; cook, stirring until well coated, 1 to 2 minutes. Add wine; cook, stirring until absorbed, about 1 minute.
Add about 2 cups hot tomato mixture to rice; simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until absorbed, 4 to 5 minutes. Continue adding tomato mixture, 1 cup at a time, waiting for one cup to be absorbed before adding the next, stirring occasionally, until rice is creamy and just tender, about 25 minutes total (you may not have to use all the liquid).
Remove pan from heat. Stir in spinach, Parmesan, and butter; season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately (risotto will thicken as it cools), and sprinkle with additional Parmesan, if desired.