Even though my sister is a stay at home mom of a two year old and an 8 week old she somehow has time in her busy day to find recipes to pass on to me. The inspiration for this dish was a Cooking Light recipe she found and it just happens to be a risotto. She assured me that this recipe was easy to make, but the real question is whether she said that as someone who is a great cook or actually thinking about my cooking skills…
Risotto never seemed like a meal to be made during the week. I have this impression of risotto that it is complicated and challenging dish that is meant to be prepared by a proper chef and not someone like me just finding their way around the kitchen.
If I was going to tackle a risotto dish I was going to make it my own and not just follow the recipe by the book. Since I like my food spicy I substituted the sweet turkey sausage for some hot italian sausage and lots of it. I was also surprised to find out that I had no white wine in the house and so replaced the white wine in the recipe with red wine. I also omitted the scallions since I didn’t have any on hand and had already been to the store a few times today. The final substitution to the original recipe was the kale. A good friend of mine introduced me to kale and from the moment I have been trying to find recipes where I can use it. Tonight’s risotto was a great opportunity to try it out and it turned out beautifully.
Although through out this meal I was hesitant that it was going to turn out, much to the delight of my husband the dish turned out wonderfully and has affirmed for me that anyone can make risotto.
It is very encouraging for me when dishes turn out, so much so that I am instantly excited and ready to blog. My husband just laughs at me because apparently it doesn’t take much to make me happy in the kitchen and tonight what made me smile was a well made risotto.
Italian Sausage and Kale Risotto
Adapted from Cooking Light’s Recipe
4 cups fat free low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cups chopped onion (about 1 large)
2 teaspoons sugar
8 ounces Hot Italian Sausage
1 cup Arborio rice
1/3 cup red wine of any variety
2 cups kale
fresh grated Romano cheese
Bring chicken broth and 1/2 cup water to simmer in a sauce pan making sure not to boil. Keep warm over a low heat
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add chopped onions and sugar to the pan, saute until onions are golden. Place onions in a bowl and set aside.
Using the same pan, saute sausage until browned, stirring to crumble. Once browned add Arborio rice and saute for 30 seconds. Stir in red wine, allow to cook until the liquid had nearly absorbed, making sure to stir constantly. Once liquid is almost absorbed stir in 1 cup of broth cooking that until nearly absorbed. Continue by adding 1/2 a cup of broth at a time allowing it to nearly absorb before adding the next portion of broth. Making sure through out this process to stir constantly.
As a way to quickly blanch your kale so it doesn’t have that rough texture is by dropping it into the warm chicken broth on the stove for a minute until it turns bright green. Make sure to remove it at this point since you aren’t trying to cook the kale.
Once the rice has absorbed all of the liquid remove from the heat, stir in onions, blanched kale, cheese and lemon zest.