Drunken Risotto with Sausage and Spinach

December 2009
Drunken Risotto with Sausage and Spinach

by 13 people

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This is a rice version of a pasta dish I made on Iron Chef years ago. It's really good. (Mario Batali and I won.)

Makes: 4 servings

  • 3 cups dry red wine
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 3/4 pound bulk Italian sweet or hot sausage
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/3 pound spinach leaves, stemmed and chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup grated pecorino-romano cheese
  1. In a large saucepan, combine the wine and chicken stock; keep warm over a low flame.
  2. In a large, heavy pot, heat the EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, crumbling the meat, until browned, about 2 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the rice and season with salt and pepper. Add the warm wine-stock mixture a couple of ladlefuls at a time, stirring vigorously after each addition and letting the liquid evaporate before adding more, cooking the risotto for 18 minutes.
  3. In the last 5 minutes of cooking, stir in the spinach, a handful at a time, to wilt. Stir in the nutmeg. In the last minute of cooking, stir in the butter, then the cheese.