Risotto with Sausage, Green Apple, Pecorino and Honey
A simple risotto made with sausage, green apple and pecorino. A drizzle of honey infuses the flavors with a bit of sweetness!
1 pound sweet or hot Italian sausage
2 medium green apples
Juice ½ lemon
About 6 cups chicken stock
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1 large onion, diced
1 ½ cups Arborio rice
½ cup dry white wine
½ cup grated Pecorino, plus additional for serving
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon honey
If the sausage is in casings, slit open and crumble the sausage into a heavy skillet or Dutch oven that will be used for the risotto. Add a drizzle of olive oil. Heat over medium heat until the sausage is cooked through and browned, breaking up any large pieces with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Remove the sausage from the pan.
Prepare the apple: Peel the apples top to bottom, creating long strips of peel. Julienne (very thinly slice) the peels and place in a small bowl. Sprinkle with the juice of half a lemon. Remove the core of the apple and cut into ¼ or ½ inch dice.
In a separate medium pot, heat the chicken stock over medium heat until it comes to a boil. Lower heat and keep at a low simmer.
As the stock heats, add 1 tablespoon butter to the heavy skillet or Dutch oven. Heat over medium heat until the butter foams. Add the onion and apple and cook, stirring, until the onion is soft and translucent and starts to take on color, about 5 minutes.
Add the rice and stir until well coated. Add the wine to the pot. Stir until all the wine is absorbed then reduce the heat to medium low.
Begin adding half ladlefuls of simmering stock to the rice, stirring constantly and allowing each ladle to be absorbed before adding the next. Continue adding stock until the rice is tender yet slightly chewy, approximately 20-25 minutes. (Note: you may have stock remaining or should you need more liquid, use boiling water.)
Remove the skillet from the heat. Add the cheese, sausage and remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to the rice and stir. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with the honey.
Serve immediately with additional Pecorino and topped with the green apple julienne.