Sausage and Mushroom Risotto

Risotto is a rich and creamy Italian rice dish that is not only filling but a great comfort food when the weather starts to cool down. Easy to make (and a good workout for your arms), this recipe adds a bit of heat to balance the richness. You can use any type of sausage (even hot if that’s what you prefer). The calzone rice is a bit firmer than traditional arborio, but is just as tasty.

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5 medium heat sausages, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup cremini mushrooms
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon chili flakes
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1 cup calzone rice
4 cups chicken stock
Additional stock if needed
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Cut the mushrooms into quarters or half depending on the size of the mushroom (you want larger pieces). Heat oil in a deep skillet pan and add the celery, onion, mushrooms, and salt. Cook until the mushrooms start to brown (approximately 3 to 5 minutes). Add the sliced sausages and, while turning over frequently, cook until they start to brown (approximately 15 to 20 minutes).

Once the sausages have cooked, add the rice and the spices and toss to coat the rice with the oils from the pan. Brown the rice for 2 minutes and add 1/2 cup of the stock, stirring in to mix it thoroughly. Continue to add stock as it is absorbed by the rice. Stir the rice continuously to ensure that the moisture is evenly absorbed. Check the consistency of the rice once all the stock has been added, and if needed, add additional stock until the rice is cooked. Ensure that there is some liquid left as this will create a creamier consistency when the cheese and butter is added.

Once the rice has been cooked to the desired consistency, stir in the butter and Parmesan cheese until melted. Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

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