Risotto: Not that hard. Stop complaining.

Today, I bring you a dish I make fortnightly at least, and it is nameless. My human garbage disposal calls it “that thing with the sausage and rice and tomatoes”, but that is inelegant, so we’ll just call it Spinach Sausage Risotto.

Again, y'all will be SO GRATEFUL when I take that food styling class.
Again, y’all will be SO GRATEFUL when I take that food styling class.

I adapted this from Smitten Kitchen, and my recipe is after the jump.

Are you hungry? Man, I am. So hungry. Get your ingredients:

Everything adorably organized. You do this at home, right?
Everything adorably organized. You do this at home, right?

Sausage Tomato Spinach Pine Nut Risotto:

1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes in juice (strongly prefer the San Marzano ones, but you can do this with whatever you’ve got handy!)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 pound of sausage, casings removed (I’ve been all about andouille on occasion, but hot OR sweet Italian sausage has worked great, too, but please get a nice one because that Johnsonville stuff will NOT cut it)
1 small onion, finely chopped
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 cup Arborio rice/risotto
1/2 cup dry white wine (this is optional, but recommended. Add more water if you don’t want wine)
1 bunch flat-leaf spinach, washed and chopped

1/4 cup of toasted pine nuts (optional but oh man soooo recommended)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving (optional)
2 tablespoons butter

First, dump the tomatoes and juice into a saucepan, then fill that can with water, and dump that in there, too. Bring it up to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer. Leave it alone for a little bit.

On your other burner, heat up your oil, then add the sausage and onions. Break up the sausage and get it mostly cooked. In about 4-ish minutes, the onions should be softer and the sausage will be scented and lovely.

You'll look about like this!
You’ll look about like this!

Your next step is to put your rice in, and get everything good and coated! This should take about a minute. At that point, you’ll want to put the wine in, too. This will absorb in about 2 minutes.

Oooooh, aaaahhh.
Oooooh, aaaahhh.

Great, good job! I’m proud of how far you’ve gotten. Now, this is the part with risotto that people complain about: the stirring. Add a cup of the tomato/water mix in, and get everything absorbed and happy. Do it again. Again. Again. You might not find that you need all the tomato-water. Everything will be tender, rich, and creamy. When you get to that point, stop adding tomato-water. ┬áThis should take about 20-30 minutes.

This is creamy/tender/absorbed.
This is creamy/tender/absorbed.

You are maybe two minutes from getting done and eating. Put in your spinach and stir it around. Wilt it. Wilt it good. Wilt it real good.

Do it a handful at a time or you'll feel overwhelmed.
Do it a handful at a time or you’ll feel overwhelmed.

Last step: toss in the butter, parm, and pine nuts, and then mix it all together for a second or two. Get it all distributed, and then eat it. Risotto thickens as it cools, so eat it right then. And drink it with this wine.

2 Replies to “Risotto: Not that hard. Stop complaining.”

  1. Oh you mean you’re not supposed to just drink the rest of the bottle of cooking wine? I’ve been doing everything wrong…

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