This dish looks like a side dish but is hearty enough to be eaten as a main dish. The recipe calls for mushrooms (ick), but you can omit them without changing the consistency.
Serves 4 to 6
1-1/2 quarts chicken stock (big can)
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small red onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
4 tbsp oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
15 oz. Italian sausage, thinly sliced
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil, divided
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, divided
1/2 box (about 5 oz.) white mushrooms, quartered (optional)
1-1/2 cups red wine
3 cups Arborio rice
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp grated Romano cheese
2 tbsp grated Parmagiano Reggiano cheese
In a covered two-quart pot, bring the stock to a boil, reduce the heat to low and let simmer.
In a four-quart saucepan set on medium heat, cook the butter and olive oil until sizzling, about two minutes. Add the onion, stir well and cook two minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add the garlic, stir well and cook for four minutes.
Raise the heat to medium, add the sun-dried tomatoes, sausage, mushrooms, red pepper flakes, one tablespoon of the basil, and one tablespoon of the parsley, and cook three minutes, stirring to prevent sticking.
Add the red wine. Continue scraping and cook for two minutes.
Add the rice, salt and pepper, stirring continually until all the wine has evaporated, about two minutes.
Add three cups of the simmering stock and bring to a boil while stirring continuously. Reduce the heat to a low simmer, cover, and let cook undisturbed for 15 minutes. (Check the low flame periodically to make sure it does not go out.)
Stir the risotto. Don’t worry if it is dry. Raise the heat to medium; add 1/2 cup of the remaining simmering stock, stirring continuously until it is all incorporated. Continue adding the simmering stock 1/2 cup at a time, stirring continuously until the risotto is cooked. This process will take about 5-8 minutes. Taste the rice with each addition. It is perfectly cooked when tender to the bite. Don’t worry if you haven’t used up all the simmering stock.
Turn off the heat, add 1/2 cup of the remaining simmering stock, the cheeses, and the remaining basil and parsley. Mix well and let the risotto rest for two more minutes.
Serve in deep pasta bowls.
[Recipe from “Cucina Amore,” Nick Stellino, New York: Doubleday, 1995]