Are you the type of cook who thinks cooking risotto is beyond your wildest dreams? Stir it all the time they say, watch it doesn’t burn and it takes forevveeerrrr they say. Nope, risotto doesn’t have to be like that.
Even cooking a traditional risotto is doable, but this my friends is baked in the oven. One dish, one spatula and one happy cook. The secret to any risotto is stock. You’d be amazed at how much liquid the arborio rice will soak up, so at any point if you feel that the risotto is too dry or stiff just add a splash of stock and it’ll bring it back to a creamy state.
There comes a time when onions and butter need to get together, soften them up and add the pepper. This is like an Italian soffrito. Add the arborio rice and get it all covered with the onions, flavor to the max and time for jazz hands because cooking risotto is exciting!
This is the part where you should pour a goldfish-bowl-sized glass of DaVinci Pinot Grigio and set your Pandora to Vivaldi. Immerse yourself in the moment. Can you tell I get a little into my cooking sometimes?
Add a little of the stock to help the rice grains start to release the starch and become creamy. If you were making a traditional risotto, you’d just gradually add the stock and stir to help it absorb the flavor. I think the general rule is two drinks of wine per splash of stock…no joke.
You can add many other ingredients to a risotto. I went with some awesome chicken and apple sausages from Fork In The Road, a sustainable food company who know their meats well. No weird things in these sausages, just other food.
Shrimp braised beef, chicken or pork are all acceptable throw-in’s for a risotto and don’t forget to shower it with really real Parmesan cheese, like lots of it.
Seve at once after refilling your Pinot Grigio and putting Vivaldi on shuffle.
Baked Sausage Risotto
- 1 pack cooked chicken and apple sausages about 5 sausages, 12oz
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 3/4 cups chicken stock
- 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 1/4 cups arborio rice
- Sea salt and cracked black pepper
- 2 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Slice the sausages into slices and saute over a high heat with the olive oil. You just want to add some color to them. Set aside.
- Warm the stock in a pot.
- In another pan, melt the butter.
- Add the onion, red pepper and garlic and stir. Cook for about 5 minutes.
- Add the rice and stir to coat.
- Pour 1/2 cup of the stock into the rice and stir until it's mostly absorbed.
- Add the rest of the stock and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Place the sliced sausage into a 13 x 9-inch oven safe dish.
- Pour all of the rice and stock liquid into the dish and even it out with your spatula.
- Cover the dish with foil and bake for about 50 minutes, making sure to stir at the 30-minute mark.
- Test the rice once it's done, it should be soft with no hard bite and just a little liquid visible.
- If the rice needs more time, add a 1/4 cup of stock and bake for another 10 minutes.
- Sprinkle the baked risotto with the Parmesan cheese and add some chopped fresh tarragon.
- Serve at once in bowls with garlic bread.