Thursday, September 6, 2007

How Can Risotto Be Dirty?

When it's speckled full of sausage, red peppers, onions and mushrooms, that's how!

Giada DeLaurentiis' recipe for Dirty Risotto was my first attempt at making risotto a little over a year ago. Needless to say, I fell in love.

Risotto is not a quick dish and it is one that requires a good deal of patience, attention and a little bit of arm muscle! In order to prepare the dish perfectly, a small amount of chicken broth is added to the rice mixture and stirred constantly until it is almost completely absorbed. Repeat. Repeat. Keep repeating until all of the liquid has been absorbed into the rice. The result is tender, creamy goodness. You won't be disappointed!

Dirty Risotto
(Source: Giada DeLaurentiis)

5 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons butter
2 oz pancetta, chopped (I omitted this and just used extra sausage)
6 oz Italian sausage, casing removed
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
4 oz button mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice or medium-grain white rice
3/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves

In a medium saucepan, bring the broth to a simmer. Cover the broth and keep warm over low heat.

In a large heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the pancetta and sausage and saute until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the onion, bell pepper, and mushrooms and saute until tender, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the rice and stir to coat. Add the wine and simmer until the wine has almost completely evaporated, about 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup of simmering broth and stir until almost completely absorbed, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking the rice, adding the broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing each addition of broth to absorb before adding the next, until the rice is tender but still firm to the bite and the mixture is creamy, about 25 to 30 minutes total.

Remove from the heat. Stir in 3/4 of the Parmesan. Transfer the risotto to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with the parsley and remaining Parmesan and serve immediately.