Monday, February 25, 2013

Tomato and Sausage Risotto

I haven't made risotto in a really long time. It doesn't really fit the healthy eating plan and it's not exactly the fastest meal to complete. I don't think it's particularly hard. Once I figured out how to make risotto, I actually find it soothing. It's just that on busy nights, it takes a while and when I'm really hungry, I don't want to wait. But I saw this recipe on pinterest (where else?) and the concept of using tomatoes and tomato juices instead of broth was so intriguing, I couldn't help but try it. The recipe definitely doesn't have the rich broth flavor of most risottos, but it's amazingly complex and delicious in its own right. I loved that it was completely full of spinach and sausage and goodness. I will most definitely make this dinner again. It's such a great meal in one bowl and so hearty. Give it a try!

Tomato and Sausage Risotto
recipe from here

1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes in juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 pound sweet or hot Italian sausage, casings removed (I used turkey)
1 small onion, finely chopped
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 bunch flat-leaf spinach (10 to 14 ounces), washed well, tough stems removed, chopped (about 7 cups)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving (optional)
2 tablespoons butter

I have to start by saying apparently my camera decided to poop out this weekend. The pictures are horrible. All of them are out of focus and blurry and I'm so sorry. I'm going to post them anyway so that you can see the steps but I won't blame you if you get nauseous from the blurred effect.

Start by chopping your onion and peeling your sausage. Heat up the oil and add the onion and sausage. Cut up the sausage as it cooks into bite-sized pieces and cook until the sausage is brown and onions tender.
Meanwhile, heat up your tomatoes with their juices and the water. You want the liquid to be hot, but not simmering. So just barely under a simmer.
Once the onion and sausage is cooked, add the rice and cook for a few minutes until the rice is coated. Then add the wine and cook for a few minutes until the liquid is mostly absorbed. You want the heat to be on low, so the materials are simmering.

Then add the tomato soup about 3/4 of a cup at a time. Stir regularly because the rice needs the movement to release the starch and produce that super awesome creamy texture. When most of the liquid is absorbed, add another cup full. Continue until the rice is soft and has just a tiny bite. Turn off the heat, add the butter, cheese and spinach.

I didn't chop the spinach because I missed that instruction. Oops. I didn't really mind the big pieces of the spinach, but if you aren't a huge fan of greens and want to trick yourself into eating it, just give it a chop. Enjoy!

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