Don’t we all need a soothing meal on tax day? I actually won a recipe contest with this recipe. The contest was held by a sausage company, Premio sausages. They hold a recipe contest every three months; so, if you have any great recipes using sausage, go to their website for details. When they informed me that I had won, I was told to expect a sample of their sausage to arrive in a few days. A few days later, the UPS guy strolls up to the door with a pretty large box. What was inside? NINETEEN POUNDS of sausage!!! Don’t get me wrong – I was thrilled. Thank goodness I have a large freezer! However, I think my cholesterol shot up about 30 points over the next few months.
Remove the sausage from the pan and let it drain on a piece of paper towel. Set aside.
In the same pan that you cooked the sausage (you don’t want to waste all of the flavor from those yummy browned sausage bits), melt 2 tbsp butter with 2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add 3 tbsp minced shallots to the pan and cook until they are light golden brown and softened. Add 2 cups of arborio rice and stir the rice for 2-3 minutes. You are giving the rice some flavor by toasting it. From this point on, you will be stirring. Don’t stop stirring or you will have burned rice and will have to start all over again.
Take the pan off of the heat, and stir in about 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese.
Add the sausage, as well as whatever veggies you like. In this case, I added raw red pepper (the heat of the risotto will soften it) and blanched asparagus. Stir well.
Serve with additional grated Parmesan cheese (there’s no such thing as too much cheese).
4 links sweet Italian sausage
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 tbsp unsalted butter
3 tbsp shallots, minced
2 cups Arborio rice
2/3 cup dry white wine
8 cups (or more) canned chicken broth
1 red pepper, sliced
10 asparagus spears, cut into thirds
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat a large, deep skillet or saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tbsp olive oil. Squeeze the sausage out of the casings into the pan, breaking up the sausage with a wooden spoon. Cook until the sausage is cooked through and browned, about 7-8 minutes. Drain the sausage on paper towel and set aside.
Add the sausage, red peppers, asparagus, and Parmesan cheese to the rice and combine. Season
with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.