I bought all the ingredients, super stoked to be making my first risotto. I started stirring and breaking up the sausage, and grabbed the wine to pour in the pot. Mind you, I was being cheap and bought one of those smallcartons of wine, and thought it would be fine, my first mistake. I started to pour the wine, and OOPS, it’s a red wine, (huge) mistake number two. I decided to keep going, since I was so invested now, and plus, it didn’t smell bad. Finally, the risotto had finished cooking, and it was time to add the spinach and cheese. I only had the parmesan in the shaker, and again, thought it would be fine. You see where this is going, right? It was a total disaster. Purple, grainy, inedible risotto. Blech…
I’ve since learned my lesson, and with this major cold snap we’re having (the metal on the frames of my sliding glass doors are frozen on theinside if that gives you any idea), I decided I was ready to give this risotto another go. I used wine from a bottle, which was clearly white, and freshly grated cheese. The result was nothing like the purple mush I made last year, and was truly delicious. Live and learn.
Tomato and Sausage Risotto
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, in juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 pound hot Italian sausage, casings removed
1 small onion, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 bunch flat-leaf spinach (10-14 ounces), tough stems removed, chopped (about 7 cups)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
2 tablespoons butter
Fresh basil for garnish (optional)
In a small saucepan, combine tomatoes (with their juice) and 3 cups water. Bring just to a simmer; keep warm over low heat.
In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add sausage and onion, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, breaking up sausage with a spoon or spatula, until sausage is opaque and onion has softened, 3-5 minutes.
Add rice. Cook, stirring until well coated, 1-2 minutes. Add wine, and cook, stirring until absorbed, about 1 minute.
Add about 2 cups hot tomato mixture to rice, and simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until absorbed, 4-5 minutes. Continue adding tomato mixture, 1 cup at a time, waiting for one cup to be absorbed before adding the next, stirring occasionally, until creamy and just tender, about 25 minutes total (you may not have to use all the liquid).
Remove pan from heat. Stir in spinach, Parmesan, and butter; season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately (risotto will thicken as it cools), and sprinkle with additional Parmesan if desired.