Monday, June 13, 2011

Early Summer Risotto

When Ross and I were dating, he would often spend Fridays driving from Amarillo to Ft. Worth, TX and I liked coming home from work and making dinner for us to eat when he got in. I braved risotto once, on a whim, and have never looked back. We both love this risotto recipe from Cooking Light, and it lends itself pretty easily to ingredient modifications. Here's what I came up with tonight based on the ingredients I had at hand.

Early Summer Sugar Pea and Sausage Risotto
makes 7 servings, about 3/4 cup each

2 cups water 
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can vegetable broth 
4 teaspoons olive oil, divided 
2 1/2 cups sugar snap peas  
2-3 sausages, sliced
1/2 cup chopped onion 
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice or other medium-grain rice 
1 cup dry white wine 
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese 
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil 
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1/4 teaspoon black pepper


1. Bring water and broth to a simmer in a saucepan (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.

2. Slice and brown the sausages over medium-high heat.

3. Peel the "veins" from the snap peas. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add peas; saute 5 minutes or until tender. Remove from pan.

4. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add onion; saute 2 minutes or until tender. Add rice; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in wine; cook 2 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly.

5. Add broth mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of broth mixture is absorbed before adding the next (about 20 minutes). Stir in mushrooms, cheese, and remaining ingredients.

Dishes like this crack me up. I'm certainly more meat-friendly than I was last summer (IF it's locally and humanely raised and slaughtered). But still, Ross and I will still sit down to a dish like this and I'll pick mostly vegetables from the pot with a few pieces of meat for good measure, and Ross will pick mostly meat with one or two bites of vegetables on the side. It's like that Jack Sprat nursery rhyme:

 Therese, Therese would eat no meat.
And Ross would eat no greens.
But betwixt them both, you see, 
they licked the platter clean!

 P.S. I like to buy the 32oz boxes of vegetable broth and pour half into a glass jar to freeze for later use. As for leftover wine, well, that's easy...

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