Italian sausage and mushroom risotto with basil oil

Gluten Free, Soy Free

2 Servings, 810 Calories/Serving

45 Minutes

Conventional risotto recipes ask the cook to stand over the stove, stirring constantly and adding stock to the pan in a steady stream. Chef Justine takes an unorthodox approach and adds all the liquid at once, covers the pan and stirs only occasionally. The result is a risotto every bit as delicious a traditional one with a whole lot less fuss.

Ingredients

  • Hazelnuts
  • Cremini mushrooms
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1-2 shallots
  • Fresh thyme
  • Fresh oregano
  • 2 links Italian sausage
  • ½ cup Arborio rice
  • Fresh basil
  • Sherry vinegar
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

Instructions

1

Toast the nuts

Heat the oven to 350°F.
  • Chop the hazelnuts.
In a sheet pan, spread the nuts in an even layer and toast in the oven until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

2

Make the stock

  • Remove the stems from the mushrooms.
  • With the side of a knife, smash one of the garlic cloves.
  • Peel and slice the shallots. Reserve the peels.
In a 4-quart sauce pot, combine the mushroom stems, smashed garlic, shallot peels, 1 sprig thyme and 1 sprig oregano with 2½ cups water. Season with salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until flavorful, about 15 minutes.
While the stock cooks, prepare the sausage.

3

Brown the sausage

  • Cut the sausage into 1-inch pieces.
In a frying pan over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon oil until hot but not smoking. Add the sausage and cook until well browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer the sausage to a paper-towel lined plate to drain.
Meanwhile,
  • Chop oregano and thyme.
  • Cut the mushroom caps into quarters.
  • Mince the remaining garlic.

4

Make the risotto

In the same pan used to brown the sausage, cook the shallots and garlic, adding a little more oil if the pan seems dry, over medium-high heat until just beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Stir in the rice and cook until opaque, about 3 minutes. Add 1/3 cup water or the white wine, if using, and cook until completely absorbed, about 2 minutes. Add the mushroom caps, season with salt, and cook until they begin to soften and release their juices, about 5 minutes. Strain the warm stock directly into the pan (discard the solids). Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 20 minutes. The rice should be just tender and a little bit runny. While the risotto cooks, make the basil oil.

5

Make the basil oil

  • Chop the basil.
In a small bowl, mix the basil with 1 tablespoon oil and the sherry vinegar. Season with salt.

6

Serve

Remove the risotto from the heat and stir in the sausage, herbs, and parmesan cheese. Transfer to individual bowls and garnish with hazelnuts. Drizzle the basil oil on top.

7

CHEF’S TIP

If the risotto seems be drying out too much while cooking, add a couple tablespoons of water at a time to achieve a creamy consistency.

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