April 8, 2012

Tomato and Sausage Risotto

I really love risotto. It's filling, can be loaded with endless healthy (and some not so healthy) additions, and, to me, is relaxing to make. There's lots of stirring involved, but I prefer standing at the stove to rushing around the kitchen, chopping up ingredients, using up a lot of dishes, and worrying about timing everything right. Risotto is just one big dish. And this one's my favorite.
Start by bringing a 28 ounce can of plain diced tomatoes and 3 cups of water to a simmer, and then just let it be.
You'll need Arborio rice, which I always have on hand because I love risotto that much.
The recipe calls for a small onion, finely chopped. I usually go for 3/4 of one. But I'm not a big onion fan. My favorite sausage to use is Isernio's Hot Italian Chicken sausage, but I couldn't find the spicy kind the other day, so I just added a bunch of red pepper flakes to make up for it.

After cooking the sausage and onion, add in the rice and wine. I skipped the wine, mostly because my routine has been to drink a glass while cooking (which I never think to do otherwise!). I hate to break tradition, so I pretend it's not in the recipe. Still turns out fine.
Then, it's just stir, add some tomato liquid, absorb, stir, repeat. Over and over for about 25 minutes. This is what the risotto looks like with about 10 minutes to go.
Once the rice is tender, stir in a heap of spinach. The recipe says 7 cups chopped, but I usually use 3/4 of a package and just rip the leaves into pieces.
I love seeing all of that healthy spinach. Makes me feel better about adding in the parmesan cheese and butter. :)
Oh, it's good. Creamy, spicy, cheesy, hearty. I hope you like it too!

Tomato and Sausage Risotto
via Smitten Kitchen, adapted from Martha Stewart Everyday Food

Serves 4

1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes in juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 pound sweet or hot Italian sausage, casings removed
1 small onion, finely chopped
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 bunch flat-leaf spinach (10 to 14 ounces), washed well, tough stems removed, chopped (about 7 cups)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving (optional)
2 tablespoons butter

  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 sausage and onion; season with salt and pepper. Cook, breaking up sausage with a spoon, until sausage is opaque and onion has softened, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add rice; cook, stirring until well coated, 1 to 2 minutes. Add wine; 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 spinach, Parmesan, and butter; season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately (risotto will thicken as it cools), and sprinkle with additional Parmesan, if desired.


  1. Looks delish! I think I always over cook mine...I'll have to give this one a try!

  2. Looks so professional. I am inspired!