~ Spring Peas in the wild ~

When the temperatures drop dramatically nothing is more comforting than a piping hot bowl of creamy risotto.  With the winds howling and some wonderful football to watch,  we recently enjoyed what has become a classic variation.  Before diving into the specifcs of the current recipe, for those that are still intimidated by Risotto,  simply read my step by step tutorial here:  How to Make Risotto.
 
 
Risotto with Sausage & Spring Peas
 
1 pound ground sausage (in or out of the casing)
2 cups Arborio Rice
48 oz. Chicken Stock or Broth (warmed)
1 1/2 cups spring peas 
1/2 sweet onion diced small
1/2 cup dry white wine
Salt & Grated Cheese to taste
2 pats butter (optional)
 
Given the season,  I used frozen peas which work just fine in a recipe such as this.  If using sausage in the casing, brown the sausages first, allow to cool, and then slice them into bite size pieces.  You can also substitute shallots for the onion if you prefer. 
 
Brown the sausage well in a little olive oil.  Remove the sausage and saute the onion until it begins picking up some color.   The pan will be heavily browned and that’s fine.

~ This was my pan immediately upon adding the onion.  The sausage has been browned ~

Once the onion softens,  add the rice and stir constantly for about 30 seconds to a minute.  This “toasts” the rice and builds a wonderful layer of flavor.  Add the white wine and deglaze the pan. Scrape up all the browned bits on the bottom of the pan and cook over medium heat until the wine is almost completely evaporated. 

~  This is the Risotto after the addition of several ladles of the chicken broth ~
 
Once the wine evaporates, start ladling in the chicken stock one or two ladles at a time.  Each time you do – stir! stir! stir!  You’ll be developing that beautiful starchy creaminess.  When the previous stock begins to evaporate, add more until the stock is gone.  If you run out and the rice is still too firm, you can use hot water from the tap. 
 
About midway through,  I returned the sausage to the risotto so that it would add in the flavoring of the rice. 

~ The Sausage has been added back in and you can see the amount of liquid in this picture. This was taken a few moments after adding another ladle of stock to the pan ~
 
Stir, stir, stir!   Once the rice is al dente – yes, like pasta – add the peas, check seasoning and stir a minute or two more so that the peas cook through.  They will cook/thaw very quickly.  If you wish, you can add a pat or two of butter at this point (I didn’t) and some grated parmigiano or pecorino.   Shave parmigiano at the table.

~ The finished Risotto with shaved parmigiano when plating ~

Mangia!

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