CLASSIC pasta risotto with sausage









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a simple meat-based risotto -- with wonderful colors and tastes and aromas of autumn, and all the enjoyment that connotes. This is, simply, one of our "go-to" all-time favorites!


  • two cups of Arborio rice (or the two other approved varieties)
  • five cups of meat stock
  • four cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • one onion, finely diced
  • four tablespoons of olive oil
  • one tablespoon butter
  • three-quarters pound mild Italian sausage
  • one-quarter teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • one-half cup celery, diced
  • one tablespoons rosemary, chopped fine
  • one tablespoon thyme, fine
  • one cup dry white wine
  • one-half cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • one tablespoon of butter
  • salt (one heaping teaspoon) and freshly ground pepper

to cook: (a more detailed and elaborate description of the risotto cooking technique can be found at how to cook risotto).

>>Sausage note: one time we tried half sweet sausage and half more spicy, and we loved the result.

Blanch the sausage in boiling water for three minutes. Drain and let cool for a few minutes. Then remove from casing; roughly chop. Put the tablespoon of butter in a skillet over medium heat. When melted, add the sausage and brown. Keep poking the sausage with a wooden spoon to break it up well. Do not let it really get brown -- just to the point where there is no redness. Remove onto a paper towel.

Bring the stock to a slow simmer in a pan next to the risotto pan. In a thick-bottomed pan (the risotto pan), over medium-high heat: add the olive oil. Add the garlic, and twenty seconds later, add the onion. After a minute add the celery and rosemary and thyme. Cook until the onion is soft. Add the diced sausage. Add the rice and stir until each grain is coated with the oil. Add the white wine, but let the heat build up in the pan (keep stirring) before adding the wine.

Cook and stir until it is absorbed by the rice, about two minutes. Add several grinds of pepper. We would not add salt at this time; wait until finished, as the sausage might be salty enough. Now add the hot stock, ladle by ladle, only adding another ladle when the previous ladle of liquid has been absorbed, stirring almost all of the time. Continue adding the ladles of stock, keeping liquid at a steady boil, until the rice is properly done: twenty to twenty-five minutes or so.

(always an option: in the event you run out of prepared stock, and need more liquid, hot water from a teakettle works).

Determine proper doneness by tasting regularly after 18 minutes. . When it is al dente, with a little creaminess, it is ready. Take off the heat. Stir in the parmesan, and the tablespoon of butter. Taste for salt. Plus a couple of good grindings of the pepper mill. Sprinkle the chopped parsley on top of the served risotto or better, as above, add sprigs of rosemary.

After adding the butter and parmesan, we like to let the finished risotto sit for a couple of minutes, in the pan, covered. It melds the cheese and butter and with the rice.



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