• 1 lb. sweet Italian sausage, with casings removed and crumbled
• 4 – 5 cups light chicken broth, preferably homemade (bouillon cubes will serve well also)
• 2 tablespoons Olio Carli olive oil
• 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
• 1 small clove garlic, minced
• 1 cup uncooked Italian Arborio rice
• 1/2 cup peeled, seeded, and chopped fresh or canned plum tomatoes, drained
• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 1/4 cup fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano, plus more to taste
• Salt to taste
• Freshly ground black pepper to taste
• 2 tablespoons packed torn fresh basil leaves
Make this with the most flavorful sweet Italian sausage you can find. Use either fresh or canned peeled and chopped plum tomatoes, but be sure to use fresh basil.
1• Brown the sausage in a heavy skillet, stirring and breaking up into small pieces with the side of a fork.
2• Spoon out 1 tablespoon of the sausage fat and set aside.
3• Drain and discard the remaining fat and set aside the browned sausage.
4• Heat the chicken broth in a small saucepan until boiling.
5• Adjust the heat to maintain a steady simmer.
6• Combine the reserved sausage fat and olive oil in a heavy saucepan and heat over low heat.
7• Add the onion and saute, stirring, until golden about 8 minutes.
8• Add the garlic and saute 1 minute more.
9• Stir in the rice and saute over low heat, stirring, about 2 minutes.
10• Add enough of the hot broth (about 1/2 cup) to just cover the rice.
11• Adjust the heat to maintain a steady simmer and cook the rice, stirring constantly, until almost all the broth has been absorbed, about 3 – 4 minutes.
12• Add another ladle of broth (about 1/2 cup).
13• Cook, stirring constantly, until all the broth has been absorbed.
14• Continue adding the broth, about 1/2 cup at a time, and cooking and stirring.
15• Add the next ladleful when the broth is absorbed and the rice begins to pull away from the sides of the pan as it is stirred.
16• Add the tomatoes, chopped basil, and half of the reserved cooked sausage during the last 10 minutes of cooking.
17• Cook until the rice is creamy and firm but not chalky in the center when it is tasted.
18• The total cooking time is about 25 – 35 minutes. Remove from the heat.
19• Stir in the butter, cheese, and salt. Briefly reheat the reserved browned sausage.
20 • Spoon the risotto onto the plates, divide the warmed sausage evenly among the bowls.
21 • Sprinkle with the ground pepper and basil leaves.
22 • Serve with additional grated cheese on the side.