Risotto and I have a love-hate relationship. I don't make it often, but when I do, the texture is off, I don't cook it long enough (or, I cook it for too long), and it never looks like it does when Ina makes her's (yes, I realize I watch too much Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics).
So, last week, I decided to give risotto another try - and, for some reason, this time it worked (kind of). The rice was an ideal al dente, and everything just looked right (finally!). However, I ended up letting the risotto sit for too long, and the texture got way too thick. Not inedible by any means, but just a little too creamy for my liking.
Learn from my mistakes: eat this risotto immediately after cooking it, and you won't be disappointed.
Tomato and 'Sausage' Risotto with Arugula
Yields: 4 servings
Adapted from Martha Stewart
-1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes, in juice + 3 cups water
-1 tablespoon olive oil
-1/2 yellow onion, diced
-2 vegetarian sausages, chopped (I used Field Roast Smoked Apple Sage, but I recommend using an Italian sausage)
-Salt and black pepper, to taste-Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
-1 cup Arborio rice
-1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
-1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (plus more for serving)
-2 tablespoons butter
-2 cups arugula, for serving
Directions:1.) In a small saucepan, combine tomatoes (with their juice) and 3 cups water. Bring just to a simmer; keep warm over low heat.
2.) In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium. Add onion and sausage; season with salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook, breaking up sausage with a spoon, until onion has softened, 3 to 5 minutes.
3.) Add rice; cook, stirring until well coated, 1 to 2 minutes. Add vegetable broth; cook, stirring until absorbed, about 1 minute.
4.) Add about 2 cups hot tomato mixture to rice; simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until absorbed, 4 to 5 minutes. Continue adding tomato mixture, 1 cup at a time, waiting for one cup to be absorbed before adding the next, stirring occasionally, until rice is creamy and just tender, about 25 minutes total (you may not have to use all the liquid).
5.) Remove pan from heat. Stir in Parmesan and butter; taste to see if it needs more salt and pepper. Serve immediately (risotto will thicken as it cools), stirring 1/2 cup of arugula into each dish. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan, if desired.
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Despite how thick my risotto got, Z and I loved this dish. The addition of the peppery arugula at the end gave the otherwise rich dish a necessary brightness, and the generous bites of sausage throughout made this a very satiating meal.
Have you ever made risotto successfully before? If yes, what are your tips?