Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Risotto with Sausage and Asparagus

Since we had that less meat jaunt a while ago, I've been more open to recipes I used to pass over.  Like this one. Four months ago I'd have rather eaten sawdust than eat sausage, but I'm working on getting over that too. This was one of particular interest since this would only be the second risotto recipe I've ever tried.  Well, third, but I didn't post the first time since I made that pre-blog.

Risotto with Sausage and Asparagus

2 1/2 to 2 3/4 cups lower-sodium chicken broth, divided
2 tsp olive oil
3/4 c arborio rice
1/3 c Noilly Prat
6 oz. fully cooked Italian-flavored chicken sausage, sliced (1/4 inch)
1 lb. asparagus, sliced (1 inch)(2 cups)
1 c halved cherry or grape tomatoes
1/3 c grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 c thinly sliced fresh basil
1/4 tsp pepper

Bring broth to a simmer in medium saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat to low; keep broth at a simmer.

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat until hot. Cook and stir rice 1 minute.

Add vermouth; cook and stir 1 minute or until vermouth is absorbed.

Add 1/2 cup of the broth; cook until broth is absorbed, stirring frequently.

Repeat twice, adding 1/2 cup broth at a time. (This process will take about 15 minutes.)

Stir in sausage, asparagus and 1/2 cup of the broth; cook until broth is absorbed, stirring frequently.

If necessary, add 1/2 cup of the broth; cook until asparagus is tender, rice is tender with a slight firmness to the center and mixture is creamy, stirring frequently and adding remaining broth if needed.

Stir in tomatoes; cook until heated through. Stir in cheese, basil and pepper.

Mmm...good!  It turns out I really like risotto (even with sausage) and the time I tried Easy Risotto wasn't just a fluke. This risotto was better than that plain one and really not much more effort (only about 10 more minutes if you don't play around during mise en place), though the plain did serve as a nice side.

I was worried the rice and asparagus would be done at the same time as my asparagus was really skinny. And when preparing this it looked like I used way too much asparagus.  I was also a little concerned that I wouldn't be able to tell if more broth was needed toward the end.  All worked out well: the rice was fully cooked but still firm, the asparagus (quantity worked out!) wasn't at all mushy. The tomatoes were just OK and I'm glad there weren't too many. What it is about hot grape-tomato halves that I find so not very good unless they're in the Shrimp, Tomato and Basil Linguine recipe?

Anyway, definitely worth doing again, which is convenient since we have another two links of sausage from the package.

  • Italian-style sausage: $3
  • asparagus: $1.35
  • grape tomatoes: $0.50
  • Parmesan cheese: $0.75
  • fresh basil: $0.70
  • everything else, SWAG: $1
Total: $7.30 or $1.83 for each of four servings. I ate one serving, Rodney had two, leaving me enough for a very small serving lunch.