Italian Sausage, Red Pepper, and Mushroom Risotto

A few nights ago, Eric and I made risotto for the first time.  Eric really likes risotto and often orders it in restaurants.  I haven’t had a lot of risotto (aside from a few random bites that I’ve tasted), so I wasn’t sure what to expect with this dish.  After reading the recipe and seeing that it had all of the ingredients that I love (Italian sausage, mushrooms, peppers, etc.), I figured it couldn’t be too bad.

This dish turned out to be amazing!  It far exceeded my expectations, and it was one of the best new recipes that we’ve made in a long time.  We devoured it that night, and then had the leftovers for lunch the next day.   It was great served with a simple side of steamed asparagus.  It was very filling so I recommend serving it with something light such as a salad or steamed vegetables.  I can’t wait to make this risotto again!

Recipe adapted from: Brown Eyed Baker blog, originally from Giada De Laurentiis

Italian Sausage, Red Pepper, & Mushroom Risotto

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 8 ounces Italian sausage, casing removed (2 Italian sausages)
  • ¾ cup finely chopped onion (approximately 1 small onion)
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper (we didn’t have a red pepper, so we used a green one)
  • ¾ cup chopped mushrooms (cremini or white buttons)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1½ cups Arborio rice
  • ¾ cup dry white wine
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped Italian parsley or basil

Directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan bring the broth to a simmer. Cover the broth and keep warm over low heat.
  2. In a large heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the sausage and sauté, crumbling, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the onion, bell pepper, and mushrooms and sauté until tender, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add the rice and stir to coat. Add the wine and simmer until the wine has almost completely evaporated, about 1 minute.
  4. Add ½ cup of the simmering broth and stir until almost completely absorbed, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking the rice, adding the broth ½ cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing each addition of broth to absorb before adding the next, until rice is tender but still firm to the bite and the mixture is creamy, about 25 to 30 minutes total. Remove from the heat.
  5. Stir in ¾ of the Parmesan. Transfer the risotto to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with the parsley (or basil) and the remaining Parmesan. Serve immediately.

Serves: 4-6

A mixture of red & green bell peppers adds color to the dish.

Step 2: Add the onion, bell pepper, & mushrooms to the sausage and saute until the vegetables are tender.

Step 3: Add the rice and stir to coat.

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