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Risotto Rosso with Sausage

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Serves 6 | Prep Time 15 minute | Cook Time 45 minutes

Why I Love This Recipe

We originally ran across this dish as a microwave recipe in Sunset Magazine which then converted to a more traditional stove top version. Then I found a cookbook, Cucina Rustica by Viana La Place and Evan Kleiman. Over the years, I have tweaked the recipe to match our own preferences. Here is my adapted version. It is spicy and filling comfort food.

Risotto can seem intimidating, but as long as you go slow and steady with the addition of the stock, it basically makes itself. It is this slow process that allows the rice to release its starch and make the risotto creamy without any real creamy ingredients. Remember, slow and steady win the race with this recipe.

This recipe was originally posted as part of the Recipes in Rotation series on My Word with Douglas E. Welch (

Ingredients You'll Need

2 Tbsp Butter + 1 Tbsp Butter for finishing
3 Tbps Olive Oil
1 onion
3 links (1/2 lb) mild Italian Sausage
4 cloves garlic
2 14oz cans tomato sauce or other canned tomatoes
1 handful (15 leaves) fresh basil or 1 Tbsp Dried Basil
2 cups Arborio Rice
1 cup Red Wine
2 quarts Chicken Stock
Salt and Pepper
Pinch Red Pepper Flakes
Tiny Pinch Cayenne Pepper
1 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese


Put stock in small sauce pan and heat until steaming. Then place on low heat to keep warm

Heat 2 Tbps butter and olive soil in large, heavy sauce pan or Dutch Oven over medium heat

Chop onions and garlic and add to oil. Cook until translucent and soft

Remove sausages from casing and crumble into pot. Brown meat until no pink remains

Add red wine to deglaze pan and cook until wine is reduced by half

Add tomato sauce or tomatoes and cook until a slightly thickened sauce is formed

Add Aroborio Rice and cook until all the sauce is absorbed

Add first ladleful of stock to rice and meat mixture. Cook and stir until completely absorbed.

Repeat, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Let each ladle of stock be absorbed before adding next ladle.

After 5-6 ladles, add salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and cayenne.

Continue adding stock until rice is al dente -- without crunch but not mushy

Once rice us cooked, remove from heat and stir in butter and parmesan cheese

Serve warm with additional parmesan

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