Risotto variations are
endless and endlessly pleasing. Here, sweet Italian sausage and tomato
combine to create a really wonderful, full flavored dish. Just add a bottle
of red wine and a crunchy salad and imagine yourself (back) in Northern
Italy. Buon appetito!
About 3 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed, crumbled
1 large garlic clove, chopped
1 small onion, chopped 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup French dry white vermouth or chicken stock
1 large ripe tomato, seeded, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves)
stock to a simmer in small saucepan over high heat.
Reduce heat to low.
Heat oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high
heat. Add sausage and cook until no pink remains.
meat to plate; discard all but 1 tablespoon oil. Add
garlic, onion, dried basil, and red pepper flakes
and cook for 2 minutes
or until tender. Add rice and stir to coat with oil.
Add vermouth, stirring constantly until most of the
liquid is absorbed,
about 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium and add 1/2
cup hot chicken stock and stir until most is
absorbed. Repeat this process
for about 20 minutes, adding stock 1/2 cup at a
time, stirring frequently, and tasting toward end of
cooking until rice is creamy
but al dente (tender, yet slightly firm). (Not all
the stock may be needed.)
Add cooked sausage and tomato and cook for 2 minutes
or just until heated through. Stir in cheese and
fresh basil and remove
pan from heat. Serve at once. Pass the peppermill
and extra cheese.