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Risotto of Sweet Sausage & Broccoli Raab

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Serves two as a main course.

Risotto of Sweet Italian Sausage & Broccoli Raab is an easy, hearty dinner that cooks up fast. Use the mildest sausage you can find.

  • 3 cups homemade or low-salt chicken broth; more if needed
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup arborio rice
  • 1/4 lb. sweet Italian sausage, skinned and crumbled
  • 1 small clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • Kosher salt
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 1/4 lb. broccoli raab, boiled for 5 minutes, drained, squeezed dry, and coarsely chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbs. freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Bring the broth to a boil; lower the heat to a simmer. In a large, heavy-gauge saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Stir in the rice, toasting just until it starts to sizzle and pop, about 1 minute. It should not color. Add the sausage and garlic. Stir, breaking up the meat into small bits, until the sausage has lost its pink color, about 1 minute. Pour in the wine.

Stir occasionally, cooking until the liquid is almost gone, about 2 minutes. Add just enough hot broth to cover the rice. Lower the heat to maintain a vigorous simmer; stir occasionally. When the liquid is almost gone, add just enough hot broth to cover the rice, along with a pinch of salt and cayenne. Check the risotto every 3 or 4 minutes, giving it an occasional stir to make sure it isn't sticking to the bottom of the pan and adding just enough broth to cover the rice when the liquid has almost disappeared. After a couple of additions of broth, add the broccoli raab.

Continue adding broth and checking until the rice is just al dente, about 20 minutes total cooking time. Bite into a grain; you should see a small white pin-dot in the center. Take the risotto off the heat and stir vigorously for a few seconds. Fold in the pepper, cheese, and a pinch of salt if needed. Stir in a few tablespoons of broth to loosen the risotto, if you like. Serve immediately.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 470; Fat (g): fat g 22; Fat Calories (kcal): 200; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 11; Protein (g): protein g 17; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 8; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 46; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 1160; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 60; Fiber (g): fiber g 2;

Photo: Mark Ferri

I substituted chicken broth for beef broth and used wild boar German sausage. Plus I added a half of a lemon's juice. The broccoli raab came from our garden. Amazing dish!

I admit to a heavy adlib—I had hot Italian sausage and broccoli at home, so made the recipe with these. Very simple and quite tasty. I'm sure with the sausage the recipe calls for and raab, it would be equally delicious.

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