Sausage & Mushroom Risotto

I have been practicing my risotto for a while now... making it in all kinds of ways; eggplant risotto, mushroom risotto, and then finally, my most favorite one yet: sausage and mushroom risotto. This one was sooo yummy, and perfect for the fall and winter months, so I wanted to share it with you guys. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Just a word on risotto, real quickly, before we get started; many people think that risotto is really hard to make. This is not true, it just takes time. You do need at least an hour to tackle this recipe, more if you are me (because I like to take my time). Risotto cooks slowly and that is precisely how you want it to cook!

Makes 6 side dishes or 4 main courses 

You will need: 
5 spicy Italian sausages, casings removed
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
1 cup of white wine (or white cooking wine)
Handful of fresh basil
2 cups aborrio rice
6 cups vegetable broth, kept warm on the stove
1 cup grated asiago cheese
2 tablespoons of butter
Salt & pepper (to taste)


break up the sausage
Place the oil in a heavy skillet and heat it over medium high heat. Add your sausages  to the hot pan, and break up with a spatula or wooden spoon as it cooks.

Once the meat is browned, add the onions, garlic, and mushrooms. Cook and stir for about 5 minutes, or until the onions and mushrooms are mostly cooked. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

You shouldn't need to re-oil your pan because you should have some nice fat left over from the meat. However, if you don't have any oil or fat left in the pan (for some odd reason!) go ahead and re-oil your pan.  Add the rice and allow it to cook for about two minutes, coating the rice in the fat and leftover and oil. (From this point on, you'll want to cook the rice on a medium/high heat that strays more to the medium side.)

Add in the white wine and bring to a gentle boil. Allow the liquid to absorb into the rice. Once the wine is absorbed, you can begin adding the broth--which you have kept warm on the stove in a large pot--one ladle at a time. The concept here is to cook the rice by allowing it to absorb the liquid a little at a time and begin to cook and thicken. It's not a quick process, so don't be in a rush! As the liquid absorbs, add more, stirring all the while. You don't want the rice to burn, so stir, stir stir!

A tip: taste! When you are getting down toward the bottom of the pot of broth, you want to taste the risotto to check the doneness. When it is soft and starchy, it's done!
pour one cup of wine for the rice, and
one for yourself
When the rice is cooked and thick, add back in the sausage, mushroom mixture and incorporate fully. Add in the cheese, the basil, and the butter. Stir until the butter and cheese are melted.

Serve hot! YUM!

The finished risotto will knock your socks off!
It's rich and creamy! 

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