I absolutely adore making risotto.
Sure, it’s labor intensive. But it’s also therapeutic to stir the risotto with the stock as it becomes more tender and chewy.
I also love how versatile it is. Basically any savory flavor combination that you love can be used to flavor risotto. I’ve made portobello red wine risotto, seafood risotto, baked red wine risotto, as well as spinach risotto, sweet potato risotto, and porcini mushroom risotto (before I began blogging).
Now, let’s talk about the yumminess of risotto. It’s luxurious and if done right, it’s very flavorful. It can be as complex as you like, depending on the ingredients you use.
And it’s fancy. Risotto is an excellent way to impress someone.
Are you impressed?
Risotto can be a bit daunting because it involves at least 30 minutes or more of your undivided attention as you slowly pour stock ladle by ladle over the risotto, waiting for it to be absorbed.
But you can master it. I have faith in you.
Here are some tips to help you be well on your way to becoming a risotto-making pro:
1. During the beginning stage when you’re sauteing the onion and garlic, then adding the risotto, then later the wine, make sure you have all the ingredients you need already measured and ready to go. Things can burn quickly at this stage.
2. Although many recipes call for stock to be ladled one ladle at a time, you can start off with three ladles full of stock and add two each time. This has always worked perfectly fine for me.
3. Rather than stir the risotto with a slotted spoon, use a spatula to continuously scrape the bottom of the pan so no risotto sticks.
4. Always keep at least two extra cups of stock on hand in case the risotto isn’t soft enough once it has absorbed all of the stock. If this happens, add more stock and continue to stir slowly until it reaches your desired texture.
4. Even though most recipes call for 1/3 – 1/2 cup of wine, factor in another 2/3 cup (6 oz.) for drinking. It’s the best part of the whole risotto making process and really adds to the entire cooking experience.
Now, that you have a few tips, you’re more than read to conquer my pumpkin and chicken sausage risotto recipe.
3 links chicken sausage, sliced into bite-size pieces
2/3 cup yellow onion, chopped finely
2 cloves of garlic, minced
4 cups vegetable stock
1 15 oz. can pumpkin
1 cup arborio rice
1/3 cup white wine
1/4 cup fresh sage, chopped finely
1/4 teaspoon sea salt (plus more to taste if desired)
1/2 cup parmesan regiano + more for garnish
In a medium pan, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil and saute the sausage until browned on both side. Set aside.
In a large pan, heat oil. Add onion and garlic and cook until softened.
Meanwhile, add stock and pumpkin to a large pot on medium heat and stir well to combine. When stock begins to simmer, turn heat to low.
Once onion and garlic is soft, add rice to pan and stir until individual grains are translucent except for a white dot in their center. Pour wine into pan and stir until wine is absorbed by rice.
Carefully ladle thee ladles of stock into the pan of rice. Stir slowly while the stock is absorbed. Continue to ladle two ladles of stock and stir until it is absorbed until all the stock has been added. Add sage, salt, and parmesan regiano cheese. Stir to combine. Taste and add more salt if desired. Add sausage and stir to mix throughout the rice.
Note: I used a Meridian Savignon Blanc for the white wine, but any dry white whine that you like to drink will work as well. For the sausage I used Trader Joe’s Pesto Sausage but I think Applegate Chicken Apple Sausage would work great too. I would shy away from using any kind of spicy sausage with this particular recipe.