Sausage Risotto with Olives and Sun-dried Tomatoes

You can find varying risotto recipes all over the web, running the gamut from vegetarian to seasonal to side dish to meat-based, and with just about every level of complexity to go with them. Personally, I prefer a quick and simple risotto, and after a little tweaking this mix of Chicken Apple sausage, kalamata olives, and sun-dried tomatoes has become my favorite. It’s a fairly quick and easy one-pot recipe, requiring anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour depending on just how fast you prep all the ingredients.  Follow along with the pictures for a photographic tutorial, or just skip to the end for the 1-2-3 steps!

Update August 2016: you can convert this one to dairy-free and gluten-free by picking a DF/GF sausage, and leaving out the finishing parmesan and butter at the end. I still find it wonderfully creamy and enjoyable, to the point the chicken-only version of this has become my standard quick breakfast option by prepping a large batch at the beginning of the week.

Ingredients:

  • 6-7 oz sausage, uncooked and removed from casings (I prefer an Italian-seasoned Chicken Apple sausage)
  • 1.5 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Touch of pepper
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup Italian Arborio rice
  • 2 sections sun-dried tomato (about 1 whole tomato) finely chopped, reserve about 1 tsp liquid for the risotto
  • 8 kalamata olives, finely chopped
  • 20 oz chicken broth (approximately – anywhere from 16-22 oz depending on your preference)
  • 1 tsp. dried basil leaves, if desired
  • 1/2 cup (heaping) grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tbsp. butter

First up, gather all your ingredients together. This is not a recipe where you can stop and run to the store halfway through when you discover you’re out of something!

Making Sausage Risotto with Olives and Sun-dried Tomatoes

 

Next, prep all those ingredients you just gathered. Measure the dry ingredients, chop the olives & tomatoes, remove the sausage from their casings, and start your broth heating in a saucepan.

Making Sausage Risotto with Olives and Sun-dried Tomatoes

In heavy saucepan or dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook for about 5 minutes until tender. Add sausage, stir until browned, then cook thoroughly

Making Sausage Risotto with Olives and Sun-dried Tomatoes

 

Once the sausage is cooked through, add the risotto and tomatoes to the pan, and stir before adding liquid

Making Sausage Risotto with Olives and Sun-dried Tomatoes

 

As the edges of the rice begin to turn clear, start adding the warm broth, about 1 cup at a time. The first cup of broth will do a nice job de-glazing the sausage bits from the bottom of the pan, so stir well.

Making Sausage Risotto with Olives and Sun-dried Tomatoes

 

While the risotto cooks, let the broth simmer away a bit before adding the next cup. Repeat until the last cup of broth.

Making Sausage Risotto with Olives and Sun-dried Tomatoes

 

Add the chopped olives with the last cup of broth and stir well.

Making Sausage Risotto with Olives and Sun-dried Tomatoes

 

Once the last cup of broth has cooked away, add the  Parmesan, basil, and butter, mix them in well, then cover the risotto and let it stand for 5-10 minutes.

Making Sausage Risotto with Olives and Sun-dried Tomatoes

 

Once the risotto is finished, serve up a bowl and enjoy it on the patio while watching the ferries load on a beautiful spring day! (Ferries and beautiful weather may not apply.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dinner on the Patio

 

Quick steps:

  1. In a small saucepan, heat chicken broth until just warm
  2. In heavy saucepan or dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat.
  3. Add onion and garlic, and cook for 5 minutes until tender.
  4. Add sausage, stir until browned and cooked through
  5. Add rice and tomatoes, and stir to coat.
  6. Add 1 cup warm chicken broth, and cook until liquid is reduced, stirring frequently.
  7. Continue to add chicken broth to keep rice covered, stirring frequently.
  8. Add olives with the last cup of broth
  9. Add broth, stir, and cook for a total of about 25 minutes until rice is tender.
  10. Add basil, cheese, and butter just before serving and stir to melt.
  11. Cover pot and let stand 5 minutes off the heat.

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