I really like risotto. In fact, it’s one of my favourite starchy sides. So why has it been ages (over a year) since I last made it? Hard to say. It’s not like it’s hard to make risotto.
The Pie really likes sausages, and they’re cheap here, so we eat them often. I am not such a huge fan. On this particular night, I decided that if I had to slice through another meat-and-two-veg meal with slippery hot sausages as the main attraction I might throw something at my husband. And I like him, so I wanted to avoid such a situation.
The basic principle of risotto making is the constant adding of more and more liquid, stirring as you go. This brings out the naturally creamy nature of the arborio rice. If you find a recipe that tells you to add cream to your risotto while it’s cooking, then the authors don’t know how to cook it right. The creaminess comes by itself, and don’t let anybody tell you anything different.
The traditional method for making risotto involves adding one part white wine to the mix, then three parts water, gradually. Today we are going to use straight chicken broth instead.
Squeeze the meat out of 3 hot Italian sausages and plop that in a pan.
Slice up about 8oz mushrooms of your choosing. You can chuck those in the pan with the sausages. I suppose if you wanted to do it right you would saute each of those things separately, but when do I ever follow the rules?
Dice 1 whole onion and put that in a saucepan with a dab of olive oil. Set that to sautéing, stirring occasionally, until the onion pieces are translucent.
While that is cooking, sauté the mushrooms and sausage as well. Break up the sausage with a spatula as it cooks, until you just have little sausage-y bits.
Drain off any juices and fat and keep warm. We also had about 2 cups frozen steamed broccoli hanging around, so I popped that in the pan as well to thaw.
Pour 1 cup arborio rice into the onions.
Add 1 cup hot chicken broth (low sodium) to the rice and onions and cook on high heat, stirring often, until the liquid is absorbed.
Add a further 3 cups hot chicken broth, one at a time, stirring in each one until fully absorbed. The whole process should take about 20 minutes and leave you with a lovely creamy rice.
Season the risotto with salt and pepper. Stir in about 2 tablespoons butter and 1/2 cup grated romano cheese.
Dump in your sausage/mushroom/broccoli mixture and stir well.
Serve hot, garnished with more grated romano. Makes great leftovers.