Sausage, Mushroom and Red Pepper Risotto

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

We are up and running!!!! YAY!!!! Finally, back into the real world!!  It feels great to have things finally start settling down around here....kind of.  Anyone want to come over and help unpack/organize?!

Anyway, back to the FOOD!  As I told you in my last post, the first thing I made in our new house was Turkey Sloppy Joes.  Pretty stinkin' lame.  So, I wanted to do something more special and fantastic for Mr. Schwartz and my first dinner together, alone, in the new house.  I googled and searched far and wide until I came upon: Dirty Risotto on the Food Network website.  I don't think "dirty" and "risotto" should ever be put together, sorry Giada.  Risotto is quickly becoming one of my favorite foods.  And this one does not disappoint! Elegant, creamy, spicy and delish!

Here is is!!! Enjoy! And, I think the light in our new kitchen is much better if I do say so myself!

Musical Selection: Back to Life Back to Reality by Envogue.  When's the last time you heard this ditty!? Great tune and really describes how I feel...well just the back to life part...anyway....
Here are the star ingredients for tonights feature
Start by bringing your stock to a simmer in a sauce pan.  This will just hang out until you are ready to risotto.

Next crumble your sausage into the pan.  Brown for about 5 minutes.  I used Jenny-O Italian Sausage and it was absolutely fabulous and cut down on a ton of fat.  I used three of the five links.  I figured I had to step up the protein to really sell this one to Mr. Schwartz.  He "liked" the Spring Risotto I made before.  And I say "liked" and not "loved" because he said it needed some meat.  Weird. Also, I didn't take a picture of bad. Come on, its my first time back in the blogging saddle.

Anyway, brown whatever sausage you choose to use.  Next chop up your veggies and add them to the pan....
Red pepper....
Mushrooms...yes, I said mushrooms friends.  If you know me I hate hated friend Sam's wedding!  She had the most delicious chicken with mushrooms dish I finished the entire thing. She gives me a hard time reminiscing about me shouting down the head table "I FINISHED IT SAM!!! Even the mushrooms!!" She is real proud that her wedding was my defining mushroom moment day!
Okay, so yes, mushrooms in the pan as well.

Stir to coat.  I also added about a tablespoon of butter at this time, to really get things coated and caramelized in the pan.
Next add your rice.  I hear that you can make risotto with other rice than Abario but really, I haven't tried it.  If you have and it has worked out well, please let me know what kind you used....finding the Abario rice is a pain in the you know what...and its expensive.  But worth it.
Isn't this cool, a 1 1/2 cup measuring cup!  We got it as a bonus gift from Macy's.  Totally cool.  Okay, wayyy too many side notes in this post, can you tell I have missed you!?
After you combine the rice you can add the wine.  Make sure you drink a glass when you make this risotto.  It is very important and imperative to the success of your risotto turning out.
Stir this over medium heat until the liquid has evaporated like this....
Then you can get going with the chicken broth.  One ladle or measuring cup at a time.
Until it looks like this. When you make a circle in the middle there should be no liquid.  Then you know its time for more chicken stock.

This will take about 25-30 minutes.  This is why people say making risotto is so hard.  Don't let them fool you, its not hard, just time consuming.  You really do have to stand over the stove and stir and watch and stir and watch.

Once you have used all of the broth and your rice is at your desiered texture--I like it with a bit of a bite yet, not mushy.  Then add the parmesan cheese.
Look at this, I had shredded but wanted grated.  I saw someone do this on the Cooking Channel or the Food Network and wanted to try it.  So I popped the shredded cheese into the Ninja (seriously cool tool) and gave it a few whirls.
Viola! Grated parmesan-reggiano cheese!!! I love being able to use our wedding gifts!!! Mr. Schwartz exclaimed "THANKS Jer and Britt!" But really, thanks, it is aweeeesome!!!
Pop the cheese into your risotto and stir it up.
And this is what the end result is of all your patience.  SO worth it.

I served it with crusty bread and it was out of this world.  Spicy, creamy, deliciousness!

Italian Sausage, Red Pepper and Mushroom Risotto
Yield: 4-6 servings
5 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons butter
8 ounces Italian sausage, casing removed (or you could use ground sausage)
¾ cup finely chopped onion
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
4 ounces white button mushrooms, coarsely chopped
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1½ cups Arborio rice
¾ cup dry white wine
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tablespoon chopped Italian parsley


In a medium saucepan bring the broth to a simmer. Cover the broth and keep warm over low heat.

In a large heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the sausage and saute, crumbling, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the onion, bell pepper, and mushrooms and saute until tender, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the rice and stir to coat. Add the wine and simmer until the wine has almost completely evaporated, about 1 minute.

Add ½ cup (or a ladle) of the simmering broth and stir until almost completely absorbed, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking the rice, adding the broth ½ cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing each addition of broth to absorb before adding the next, until rice is tender but still firm to the bite and the mixture is creamy, about 25 to 30 minutes total. Remove from the heat.

Stir in ¾ of the Parmesan. Transfer the risotto to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with the parsley and the remaining Parmesan. Serve immediately with crusty bread.


Recipe adapted from:

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