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Ingredients

  • Risotto with sausage and Cranberry beans shopping list
  • To make risotto, you absolutely must use a specific type of rice called arborio rice (Carnaroli and Vialone Nano are also used, some say superior, but are more difficult to find). These types of rice release starch when stirred in a liquid; it is this process which makes risotto, otherwise you just have a starchy mess of mush. These types of rice are identified by their fat round grains and pearly appearance. They can be used to make other sorts of rice dishes, such as pilaf, but other types of rice cannot be used for risotto. Arborio is no longer that much of a specialty product; it can be found in most large, well-stocked grocery stores in the Italian section. Or sometimes, misguidedly, in the Asian section. shopping list
  • Okay, so now we have the rice. You will also need some good, low-salt stock or broth - it should be low-salt not for health reasons, but because a good deal of it will evaporate, leaving its salt behind, and I like to have more control over the salt in a dish. It can be homemade, but I'm not going to be a snob about it because, in truth, we go through gallons of store-bought stock in this household and I don't see that changing anytime soon. Furthermore, risotto is actually a dish which can be whipped up out of thin air when it seems as though you have nothing to eat, as long as you have butter, rice, stock, maybe a few herbs, and some leftover Parmesan. I like the kind of stock purchased in tetrapak cartons, because they are resealable and can be put in the fridge and used as needed. If you really want to use homemade but you don't have time to make stock or don't like the aroma of roasting bones in your house (I don't blame you), you can buy really great stock at North Market Poultry and Game - it is expensive, but can be diluted with a 2- or 3-to-1 ratio of water to stock, so it stretches. My general guideline is to plan on 1/4 cup dry rice per person, and about 4 cups of stock to 1 cup of rice. Of course, this isn't exact and will vary depending on your elevation and the phases of the moon, but it's a good place to start. I usually just use 4 cups of stock and then dilute with water or wine (or sometimes beer, if that's all I have) if I feel I'm going to run out. shopping list
  • Well, we have rice and stock covered, now we just need our setup: place the stock in a saucepan on your rear burner, bring to a simmer, and leave it there with a 6-8 ounce ladle in, and place a large, wide saute pan (must be really large, plan that your rice will at least quadruple in size) or Dutch oven on the burner in front. Get out your favorite wooden spoon and flex your stirring arm. shopping list
  • The nice thing about using sausage is it's so full of flavor you can leave out the usual onion/garlic/shallot/celery nonsense if you're tired and don't feel like chopping. Furthermore, sausage goes from the freezer to the pan without suffering too much. Okay, let's go! shopping list
  • Risotto with sausage and Cranberry beans - serves 4 shopping list
  • 2 links italian sausage, or 1 pound bulk (or hot, or a combination - definitely with some fennel), casings removed shopping list
  • 2 cups cooked cranberry beans or one can white beans, drained shopping list
  • 1 cup arborio rice shopping list
  • 4-5 cups beef, chicken or vegetable stock shopping list
  • 2 tbsp butter shopping list
  • 3/4 cup freshly, finely grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish shopping list
  • 1 package (an ounce) flat-leaf parsley, chopped finely shopping list
  • 1/2 tbsp lemon juice, or juice from 1/2 lemon shopping list
  • salt and black pepper to taste shopping list
  • red pepper flakes to taste, optional shopping list
  • Good balsamic vinegar, optional shopping list

How to make it

  • Your stock is simmering, right? Heat your large saute pan over medium-medium high heat and crumble in your sausage. Brown the sausage thoroughly, breaking it into very small bits, then add the beans - if there is a lot of fat (more than a tablespoon) in the pan, carefully drain it off first. Add the rice to the pan and stir it all around for a minute or two; the rice should begin to transluce, looking very pearly with a white center. Add a ladleful of stock and stir until the stock is absorbed. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Continue to repeat for about 20 minutes, adding a pinch of salt after 10, and then begin to taste the rice; it should be soft with a slightly chewy center, without being powdery or hard. The entire mixture should be soft and creamy above all, with no broth sitting in pools. Turn the heat off and add the butter, parsley, Parmesan and lemon juice, stirring vigorously to incorporate and melt everything. Taste for salt and add a few good grinds of black pepper and a few pinches of red pepper flakes, if desired. Place in bowls and top with a few shreds of Parmesan and a tiny drizzle of balsamic vinegar, if desired. Preferably eaten while in pajamas in front of fireplace with loved on, or other cozy location.

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    " It was excellent "
    mjcmcook ate it and said...
    ~HELLO~
    ~FIRST of All~ I just want You to know how much I appreciate the time that it took You to write out the directions & comments for this
    "5"FORK!!!!! recipe~I enjoyed your 'commentary'
    very much! I look forward to
    'Making & Tasting' this 'Gorgeous' recipe
    very soon!
    ~Blessings~
    ~*~mj~*~
    Lovely to see 'YOU' 'posting recipes'~
    Was this review helpful? Yes Flag

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