Last week I posted a picture of our dinner after having made what I thought was just a simple but tasty way to use up some storebought Italian sausages I had hanging out in the fridge. But the photo garnered many “likes” on both Facebook and Instagram (follow me: keepcalmbakesouffles) so by popular demand, here is the recipe. I had a package of Open Nature brand Italian chicken sausages, but your favorite sausage of just about any brand and flavor will do. (Although if you have some bratwurst to deal with, might I suggest our beer braise with caramelized onions instead?)
Also, I chose to toss in English peas as they looked especially fresh and colorful on the shelf of my local Trader Joes (which, apparently, now stocks microgreens as well in case you wanted to bring restaurant plating techniques to your home kitchen). You could substitute (or add) fava beans, chopped asparagus, artichoke hearts, shaved fennel… if you dream it, you can achieve it. Longtime readers may recognize that the instructions are very similar to the risotto al funghi that we posted last summer!
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 white or sweet onion, diced
1 package Italian chicken sausage, sliced into 1/2-inch thick pieces
1 1/4 cup arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine (2 buck chuck Chardonnay will do fine)
3 cups chicken broth (approximately)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or a few sprigs fresh thyme
1 cup English peas (or frozen petite sweet peas)
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup parmesan, grated
Salt & pepper
First things first, set up your mise en place: minced garlic, diced onion, sliced sausages, bottle of wine opened and ready to go. (And peas picked out of their pods if yours are THAT fresh.)
Sweat the onions and garlic in oil over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add the sausage and saute for a few minutes. I tried to get a bit of color on some of the slices.
Add the rice and pour in the wine to deglaze the pan. Stir until the wine has been absorbed.
Toss in the thyme and pour in the chicken broth, about 1 cup at a time. Let the liquid come to a simmer. When the rice has absorbed most of it, add more chicken broth, reserving about 1 cup (less is OK) for the next step.
After about 20 minutes or when the rice has just gotten to the al dente stage, add the peas and pour in the reserved broth.
When most of the liquid has been absorbed and the peas are cooked through but not mushy, finish with the butter and parmesan. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve hot.
White wine may be a more traditional pairing for risotto, but I enjoyed my portion with a tall glass of the Sam Adams Seasonal brew Cold Snap, an unfiltered white ale with the smooth brightness of the summer ale but a hint of spice to remind you of the best parts about this time of year. (Yes, I loved it so much at Dave & Buster’s that I bought a few bottles to enjoy at home!)