If you are a Costco member, you should definitely try to get a copy of A Decade of Cooking the Costco Way. My sister-in-law gave us a copy this weekend. I am not really a cookbook person and I can tell you there are about 25 recipes I want to try right away. Tonight I let Mike pick, and he chose Risotto with Sausage and Greens. We had some amazing risotto on our Italy trip this fall and Mike has been working on perfecting his risotto technique since.
This recipe is by Mary Ann Esposito, host of the TV show Ciao Italia. Risotto takes some patience (and lots of stirring) but the reward is worth it!
1/2 pound spinach, stemmed and washed
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small onion, peeled and diced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 pound Italian sausage, casings removed
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups hot tomato juice
2 1/2 to 3 cups hot chicken broth
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
salt and black pepper
Drop the spinach into a pot of boiling water and cook just until wilted. Drain, cool, squeeze dry and coursly chop. Set aside.
Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil in a medium skillet and add the garlic and spinach. Cook for 2 minutes over medium heat. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and set aside.
In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. When it is hot, stir in onion, red pepper flakes, and sausage. Cook, breaking up the sausage until the onion softens and the meat begins to brown slightly. Stir in the rice and mix to coat the rice well. Pour in the wine and stir until it evaporates.
Begin adding the tomato juice in 1/2-cup increments. Cook and stir, allowing the rice mixture to absorb each addition before adding more.
Add the broth in 1/2-cup increments, continuing to cook and stir until mixture is creamy and the rice is still firm but cooked through. You may not need all the broth. Stir in the spinach and grated cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.
Notes: Heating the tomato juice and chicken broth prior to adding to the rice helps the mixture keep a more even temperature (not losing heat each time more liquid is added). Also, alternate greens such as swiss chard or beet greens can be substituted for the spinach.