Sunday, February 21, 2010

Drunken Risotto with Sausage and Spinach

I really liked the flavor combination of this perfect-for-winter risotto. Mark said next time he would like to use 1 1/2 cups wine and 3 1/2 cups chicken stock. I didn't think the wine flavor was too strong. You pretty much have to be willing to stand up stirring for 18min but that is what makes risotto so nice and creamy!

3 cups dry red wine
2 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 pound bulk Italian sweet or hot sausage (I used hot and liked the kick)
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups arborio rice (must be arborio)
Salt and pepper
1/3 pound spinach leaves, stemmed and chopped (about 2 cups)
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (I left this out)
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup grated pecorino-romano cheese

In a large saucepan, combine the wine and chicken stock; keep warm over a low flame.

In a large, heavy pot, heat the EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, crumbling the meat, until browned, about 2 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the rice and season with salt and pepper. Add the warm wine-stock mixture a couple of ladlefuls at a time, stirring vigorously after each addition and letting the liquid evaporate before adding more, cooking the risotto for 18 minutes.

In the last 5 minutes of cooking, stir in the spinach, a handful at a time, to wilt. Stir in the nutmeg. In the last minute of cooking, stir in the butter, then the cheese.

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