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Sausage and Squash Risotto

I used a mild Italian sausage for this recipe, but feel free to spice things up a little on your own.<br />

Look for different types of sausages to vary up the flavour. I used a mild Italian, but spicy will give you more kick and honey garlic will sweeten it up. Grocery stores are so helpful - I picked up pre-diced squash to add to the risotto and cut my preparation time to get things cooking. Having some broth in the pantry helped, too.


Sausage and Squash Risotto
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes


Ingredients



  • 3 fresh mild Italian sausages, about 8 oz/250 g

  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 ½ cups (375 mL) Arborio rice

  • 1 ½ cups (375 mL) diced squash or sweet potato

  • ½ cup (125 mL) white wine

  • 4 ½ cups (1.25 L) sodium reduced chicken or vegetable broth

  • 1 cup (250 mL) freshly grated parmesan cheese

  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) chopped fresh basil


Preparation


1. Remove casings from sausages and discard. Crumble sausage meat into large shallow saucepan and cook sausage, stirring constantly over medium high heat for about 5 minutes or until browned and no longer pink. Remove to bowl.

2. Add oil to saucepan and return to medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring for about 3 minutes or until softened. Stir in rice to coat. Add squash and cook, stirring for 1 minute to coat well. Add wine and cook, stirring until wine evaporates.

3. Stir in 1 cup (250 mL) of the broth and cook, stirring until almost all of the liquid evaporates. Cook, stirring and adding more of the broth, about 1 cup (250 mL) at a time for about 20 minutes or until rice is tender but firm.

4. Return sausage to saucepan along with any remaining broth and cook, stirring for 5 minutes or until sausage is heated through. Stir in cheese and basil until melted and serve in shallow bowls.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Tips



  • You do not have to stir the risotto constantly, occasionally will do. Unless, of course, you want to keep someone out of your way yet still helpful in the kitchen.

  • Look for Arborio rice in the rice aisle of the grocery store. It is the perfect rice to help create that creamy comforting texture to the dish.

  • If you do not want to use wine, simply substitute an equal amount of broth.

  • You can add any favourite flavours to risotto, sautéed mushrooms, leftover cooked chicken, pork or seafood, pasta sauce, roasted red peppers or whatever your heart desires! The tastes you can create are endless, but always comforting.

  • This is delicious on it’s own but also makes a perfect first course to an entertaining meal.

  • For leftover risotto be sure to make risotto cakes the next day. Add an egg and some breadcrumbs to the mixture and form little patties. Coat them in more breadcrumbs and panfry them until golden. A great side dish or snack.

 
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