I so love it when a recipe exceeds my own expectations. I’ve been told that risottos are a bear to deal with, and run the risk of being too dry or too creamy. The trick, I have found, is to pay the risotto continual attention while pouring in the stock one ladle at a time. It’s not a difficult recipe, but certainly one that requires that you stay near the stove top throughout it’s cooking.
The result is a risotto infused with the flavors of the sausage and mushrooms, which is sort of the point. Otherwise you have a simple pilaf made with sausage, and who wants that?
As a side note, I used my brand spanking new 12″ cast iron skillet insterad of a sauce pan. It’ll probably be the only way in which I make risottos from this point on.
- olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1/2 cup chopped carrot
- 6 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
- 1/2 lb Italian sausage
- 2 c. Arborio rice
- 5-6 c. chicken broth
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (and if you use that Kraft abomination, you deserve what you get)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Parsley (for garnish)
Place dried mushrooms in a bowl and add 2 cups of water. Allow to sit for 10-15 minutes to re-hydrate.
In a sauce pan, on medium heat, bring chicken stock to simmer. Once stock begins to simmer, lower heat by half. Keep stock just below a simmer at all times.
Heat 2-4 tablespoons of olive oil in cast iron skillet. Toss in onions and sautÃ© for three to four minutes. Add celery and carrots and sautÃ© for two more minutes and then add mushrooms. Allow to sautÃ© for 5 mniutes.
Add the rice to the pot and sautÃ© it with the vegetables for a minute or two.Then add a ladleful of broth, turn the heat down to a slow simmer, and begin to stir. The broth is added 1 or 2 ladlefuls at a time while the rice cooks, and you must stir frequently to obtain the right creamy texture for this dish. Feel free to taste test in order to get correct texture.
Meanwhile, fry sausage in a seperate skillet. When complete, remove from heat and set aside.
When rice becomes al dente in texture (you can sense this when the rice no longer crunches in the mouth and has developed a little bit of creaminess), remove from heat. Add sausage and parmesan cheese. Fold in until you see no more evidence of cheese. Allow rice to sit for five to ten minutes. Salt and pepper to taste, and crush ffresh parsley ontop before serving.
Serves 4-6 people.