Sausage and Spinach Risotto

January 11, 2012 | | | | | |

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“I’m gonna put you first, I’m comin’ for you. I’ll show you what you’ re worth, that’s what I’m gonna do.” –Justin Bieber (on cooking for the one’s you love)

I always thought whoever said that “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” didn’t understand anatomy. Apparently, they were actually right…

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. They just set you up for disappointment when you inevitably break them. Instead, I like to make a list of goals for the upcoming year. I enjoy a challenge, so I tend to go big. However, just to be safe, I usually divide this list into two categories: “Reach for the Stars,” and “Seriously.”

This year’s list:

Reach for the Stars
-Cook 3 times a week
Get a job
-Write a cookbook
-Get my own cooking show
-Pose for GQ or Maxim (In a classy way…like taking a chicken out of the oven in my underwear or something.)

Since, it’s only the second week of 2012, I’m still feeling pretty good about the “Reach for the Stars” column. In the spirit of goal number one, I decided to get back in the kitchen and make something delicious this week. I give you the first domestic triumph of the New Year: Sausage and Spinach Risotto. It’s simple, decadent, and surprisingly light. So, in case your goals for 2012 also include posing in your underwear, I’ve got your back.

“That’s hot.”- Paris Hilton

Cooking for one is always a party. However, there is something incredibly satisfying about making something delicious for someone special. Preparing a kick-ass meal for your girlfriend or boyfriend can say a million things: “I love you,”* “I’m sorry,”** “Thank you for watching the Justin Beiber documentary with me after we eat…,”*** etc. Don’t have a significant other? No problem. (You’re so independent!) I bet you have a roommate, friend, or family member who would enjoy being treated to a home-made feast. So please, put down the take-out menus, open a bottle of wine, and show someone a little love tonight.

Happy New Year and happy domestication! 2012 is going to be our year, people.*

*Not quite there yet? It can also say, “I like you a lot.”**Don’t have anything to apologize for? Get off your high horse, you might at some point.***Best to spring this news on your significant other AFTER the meal.*By “our,” I mean “my.”But I’m keeping my fingers crossed for all of you.
Sausage and Spinach Risotto: (Serves 2 hungry people)
1 cup Arborio rice
3-4 cups chicken stock (low-sodium if possible. No need to bloat, etc.)
½ cup dry white wine (cheap shit works great!)
½ medium onion, minced
1 large shallot, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 spicy chicken sausages*
3 oz fresh spinach (approx two big handfuls)
8 oz sliced fresh mushrooms
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp parmesan cheese
3 tbsp pecorino romano cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Preparing your risotto:

-Heat the chicken stock in a small pot and keep at a simmer.

-Mince onion, shallot, and garlic. Slice mushrooms. Set aside.


-Remove sausages from their casings. This sounds gross because it kind of is. Just pull the thin layer of casing from around the sausage (like taking string cheese out of plastic), and then crumble or chop the sausage into small pieces.


Cooking your risotto:

-Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large saucepan and add sausage. Cook until the sausage is brown (approx. 3 minutes).

-Lower heat and add the minced onion, shallot, and garlic to the sausage. Cook approx. 2 minutes, stirring constantly. (Make sure your heat isn’t too high or the garlic will BURN. Trust me…).


-Add the rice and stir until the rice is coated with fat. Don’t panic, by fat, I mean the olive oil.


-Deglaze the pan with the white wine, and allow it to evaporate completely (this will take about 2 minutes).

-Cover the rice mixture with chicken stock (about 1 cup), and cook at a low simmer.


-When the rice has absorbed the liquid (about ten minutes), add the next cup of chicken stock. Allow the liquid to absorb, and then add the final cup of chicken stock. When, the final cup has absorbed, your risotto will be tender and delicious. (If it’s not, don’t panic. Add some more chicken stock and wait until it is.)

-While your risotto is cooking, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large pan. Add sliced mushrooms and sauté on medium heat until the mushrooms are tender (approx 7 minutes). Remove from heat and set aside.


-Add the mushrooms and the spinach leaves, stirring until the spinach wilts (this will take about a minute).


-Mix the parmesan into the cooked risotto, this will give it a delicious creamy texture.


-Spoon risotto into bowls, and sprinkle each serving with fresh pecorino romano. Congratulations, you’re so domestic!


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1 Comment

  1. Liberty on January 13, 2012 at 9:03 am

    maybe pose with a blowtorch and a chicken..HOT

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