We are very excited over here at Our Italian Table – we have some fun things in the works! My brother Joey is busily working on our soon to be submitted Our Italian Table iPad app and we are adding the Our Italian Table Bookshelf. Our bookshelf will feature our favorite cookbooks and travelogues on our favorite topic – Italy (of course!) We will bring you recipes from our favorite authors along with notes and thoughts about these recipes as we recreate them at home. And last but not least, I am working on a gallery of my favorite photos from my trips to Italy. Great fun! Stay tuned!!
But for tonite, as Joey is busily programming our iPad app in California, I was mixing up a simple risotto for dinner back here in Pennsylvania. I know many of you may consider risotto way too much work for a weekday dinner but it really is a simple affair. Yes, it takes a bit of stirring – but fill up your kitchen with some loved ones, open up a nice bottiglia di vino and stir up some great conversation while you stir up a fantastic dinner. Enjoy.
Risotto con le Salsicce e Vino Rosso: Sausage and Red Wine Risotto
4 cups of chicken broth
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 pound sausage, removed from casings
1/2 cup dry red wine
About 2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 large saute pan (for sausage mixture), 1 medium saucepan (to warm broth), 1 large saucepan or skillet (to hold the risotto)
1. Pour the broth in a medium saucepan and warm over medium heat. Keep warm over low heat once warmed.
2. Heat olive oil in the sauté pan over medium heat. Add in the onion and sauté until soft about 5 minutes. Add in the sausage and using the back of a wooden spoon, break up the sausage into small pieces. Cook until the sausage is lightly browned and cooked all the way through – about 5 minutes. Add in the wine, stir and cook until the wine is reduced to about 1/3.
3. Take about 1 cup of the warm broth and stir in the tomato paste until dissolved. Add the tomato paste mixture to the pan and stir over medium low heat until reduced and slightly thickened. Taste and adjust seasonings. Keep warm over low heat.
4. In the large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Once the butter is hot, stir in the rice until the rice is nicely coated with the butter. Ladle in about 1 cup of the warm broth. Stir until almost completely absorbed by the rice. Add in another cup of broth and repeat. Next add in the warm sausage mixture and stir until incorporated and liquid is absorbed. Ladle in the last cup of broth and stir until the rice is al dente. (If you need more liquid, add in additional broth or water.) This should take about 15-20 minutes. Taste the rice and adjust seasonings.
5. Once cooked, add in the last tablespoon of butter and the Parmigiano. Stir until the butter is melted and the cheese is incorporated. The risotto should have a creamy consistency. Taste one more time and adjust any seasonings.
6. Serve and enjoy.