Sausage and Apple Risotto with Goat Cheese

sausage-and-apple-risotto-with-goat-cheese Something truly terrible happened last week.

I was at an event in Chicago, and I ran into a guy at the bar. We’d been introduced a few times before, but he’s an actor and meets a ton of people on the reg, so I just assumed he wouldn’t remember me. I hate these types of run-ins because I never know whether to say, “Hi, I’m Serena!” or, “Hi! Good to see you!” I went with the latter in this case, hedging myself by offering my hand to shake. But he caught me off guard and went in for the hug.

Sometimes, the handshake/hug mix-up can be salvaged. Sometimes. You both have to be on your game. You can either go through with the handshake and then do a hybrid hug/shoulder pat (this is a little bro-y for my taste, but it works) or throw in a kiss on the cheek. Alternatively, the person going for the handshake can quickly retract his or her hand in time to make a normal hug doable. Sadly, I managed neither last week.

The dude and I both remained committed to our initial greetings—me with the handshake, he with the hug. I ended up sort of poking him in his (very chiseled) stomach with my hand while he smushed me to him from the side. And since my arm was stuck between our bodies, I used it to reach around and creepily grasp one of his arms. Somehow, this catastrophic embrace lasted a good 10 seconds…

DEAR GOD, WHY???!!!

sausage-and-apple-risotto-with-goat-cheese-2 I know this interaction may seem trivial, but these things legit haunt me. It’s an unfortunate personality quirk—I just can’t let them go. The moment will pop into my head for days (weeks! years!) afterward, and I will visibly cringe or shiver at the painful memory.

Just so you have an inkling of the lasting impact these “events” have on me, I accidentally kissed an acquaintance on the nose at a party 3½ years ago, and I’m still not over it. I’ve actively avoided him ever since.

sausage-and-apple-risotto-with-goat-cheese-3 Anyhoo, when I got home from Chicago last Tuesday, the aforementioned actor hug trauma was fresh, enhanced by my fragile Dude Diet launch week state. After wandering idly through the aisles of Westside Market for a bit that evening, I decided risotto was the only thing that could help me shake the awkward vibes and book anxiety. I love me a good risotto, and there’s something inherently soothing about coaxing a pot of Arborio to creamy perfection. It’s a teensy bit more time-intensive than your average weeknight meal, sure, but it’s always 100% worth it when you dig into a comforting, cheesy bowl of deliciousness. Right?

sausage-and-apple-risotto-with-goat-cheese-4 Right.

I can tell you from recent experience that this Sausage and Apple Risotto with Goat Cheese is the food equivalent of an anxiety blanket, so I recommend keeping it in mind the next time you need a little pick-me-up. From bad haircuts to a tough day at the office, this risotto is a one-pot panacea. For real.

Turkey sausage adds heft and savory flair, apples provide a delightfully unexpected sweetness, and the subtle goat cheese tang is downright delightful. It’s hearty without being too heavy, and you know I’m all about a stick to your ribs meal that won’t actually pad them. (We all want to go into the holiday season looking and feeling as Gwyneth-like as possible.)

sausage-and-apple-risotto-with-goat-cheese-5 I love this risotto as a couch meal, as it’s best consumed while wearing a cozy sweater and accompanied by several glasses of the cooking wine (never cook with something you wouldn’t drink!), but it’s also a fabulous option for entertaining. Round out the meal with a simple green salad, and you’re good to go.

Sausage and Apple Risotto with Goat Cheese: (Serves 4)

sausage-and-apple-risotto-with-goat-cheese-6 Ingredients:
4-5 cups chicken broth (Bonus points if it’s homemade!)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, minced
1 large apple, finely chopped (I’ve tried this with Golden Delicious and Granny Smith, and I think I slightly prefer the former.)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
¾ pound sweet Italian turkey sausage, casings removed (3-4 links)
1¼ cups Arborio rice
½ cup dry white wine
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 ounces goat cheese, divided
Kosher salt
White pepper

Preparing your Sausage and Apple Risotto with Goat Cheese:

-Pour the chicken broth into a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and keep warm.

-Heat the olive oil in a medium Dutch oven or sauté pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot and shimmering, add the onion, apple, garlic, and thyme. Cook for about 3 minutes until the onion is translucent and the apple is softened slightly. Add the sausage to the pan and cook, breaking up the meat into small pieces with a wooden spoon or spatula, until no longer pink, about 5-7 minutes. (I accidentally deleted the picture of this. Forgive me.)

-Stir in the Arborio and cook for 2 minutes to lightly toast the grains. Add the wine and cook, stirring regularly, until the liquid has been absorbed, about 2 minutes.

sausage-and-apple-risotto-with-goat-cheese-step-1 -Add 1 cup of the warm stock to the pan.

sausage-and-apple-risotto-with-goat-cheese-step-2 -Reduce the heat to low and cook gently (the liquid should be just simmering), stirring periodically, until the liquid is almost completely absorbed. (This should take about 5-7 minutes.) Continue adding broth, ¾ cup at a time, until the rice is tender and creamy.

sausage-and-apple-risotto-with-goat-cheese-step-3 -When the last addition of broth is nearly absorbed (you still want there to be some liquid in the pan), stir in the Parmesan and half of the goat cheese.

sausage-and-apple-risotto-with-goat-cheese-step-4 -(If the risotto is too thick after adding the cheese, you can always add a splash more chicken broth.) Season with salt and white pepper to taste.

sausage-and-apple-risotto-with-goat-cheese-step-5 -Divide the risotto among four plates or bowls and crumble the remaining goat cheese on top. Serve immediately.

sausage-and-apple-risotto-with-goat-cheese-7

Sausage and Apple Risotto with Goat Cheese

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 4-5 cups chicken broth (Bonus points if it’s homemade!)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, minced
  • 1 large apple, finely chopped (I’ve tried this with Golden Delicious and Granny Smith, and I think I slightly prefer the former.)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • ¾ pound sweet Italian turkey sausage, casings removed (3-4 links)
  • 1¼ cups Arborio rice
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, divided
  • Kosher salt
  • White pepper

Instructions

  1. Pour the chicken broth into a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and keep warm.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a medium Dutch oven or sauté pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot and shimmering, add the onion, apple, garlic, and thyme. Cook for about 3 minutes until the onion is translucent and the apple is softened slightly. Add the sausage to the pan and cook, breaking up the meat into small pieces with a wooden spoon or spatula, until no longer pink, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Stir in the Arborio and cook for 2 minutes to lightly toast the grains. Add the wine and cook, stirring regularly, until the liquid has been absorbed, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add 1 cup of the warm stock to the pan. Reduce the heat to low and cook gently (the liquid should be just simmering), stirring periodically, until the liquid is almost completely absorbed. (This should take about 5-7 minutes.) Continue adding broth, ¾ cup at a time, until the rice is tender and creamy.
  5. When the last addition of broth is almost absorbed (you still want there to be some liquid in the pan), stir in the Parmesan and half of the goat cheese. (If the risotto is too thick after adding the cheese, you can always add a splash more chicken broth.) Season with salt and white pepper to taste.
  6. Divide the risotto among four plates or bowls and crumble the remaining goat cheese on top. Serve immediately.
http://domesticate-me.com/sausage-apple-risotto-goat-cheese/

Like what you read? Share it!
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+Pin on Pinterest
  • The awkward handshake/hug combo is the WORST! I do like how you both stayed committed to your initial salutation choice though. That’s dedication. I once was sitting in a chair and had an old boss come up and say hello and he went in for a hug and for some reason I didn’t really get out of my chair, so I basically ended up hugging him at crotch level. Mortifying.

    Anyway, this Risotto looks amazing. I’ve always been intimidated to try Risotto but I think I’m going to have to give this one a try

    • Thank you for sharing your crotch hug trauma!! It’s nice to know other people have shared my pain at some point in there lives ;).

      Please try the risotto–I promise it’s impossible to screw up. xo

  • Mimi

    Ugh, it’s even worse in Europe because of the kiss-kiss, or even worse, the kiss-kiss-kiss thing. When I hug my head goes automatically to the left. That seems reasonable to me. This needs to become law, so people who hug me don’t have to do the head dance. But about the risotto, I’ve never thought of using apple or any fruit, for that matter. Great combo!!!

    • OH MY GOD, don’t even get me started on the double versus triple kiss horrors. (My years in Paris were quite traumatic…)

      And yes, I vote we have a standard head tilt accepted by all. Let’s spread the word–everyone to the left!!

  • Tieg Murray

    I have to say risotto is one of my favorite things to make. I’m pretty good at it and I LOVE eating it (obviously). I have a couple go to recipes but decided to try a new one. This one was OH MY GOD. My fiance was impressed and I was honestly surprised with myself, it tasted so amazing. This one is going to the top of the list for sure!!

  • I very much enjoy a good risotto, and this one sounds really great. I hope to have an opportunity to try it soon.

  • Erica

    Love this recipe! Is it okay to double it and make it the same way?

    • Yes, definitely!!

      • Erica

        Just doubled it and it turned out perfectly! 🙂