Creamy, delicious, and oh-so-satisfying, this Dirty Risotto is the perfect cross between Cajun style dirty rice and traditional Italian risotto!
Does anyone else remember that old Chef Boyardee commercial where a young Chef Boyardee was learning to cook from his grandma? They go to the market and pick out fresh ingredients, then spend hours in the kitchen preparing the perfect red sauce for their pasta. As the sauce is simmering away, the grandma imparts some very important wisdom on the young chef: “Good food takes time.”
I don’t know why, but that phrase has always stuck with me over the years. Such is the power of good advertising, eh? Any time I’m making something that feels like it’s taking ages to prepare, that heavily “Italian” accented voice floats though my head, reminding me to just be patient. It’ll be ready when it’s ready and it will totally be worth it.
I feel like risotto has a little bit of an intimidation factor, but don’t let it scare you! It really isn’t difficult at all; it’s just one of those dishes that you have to stick with…kind of like gravy, but a little more so. Trust me, you won’t regret it! This Dirty Risotto is packed with mouth-watering flavor….just…yum.
Start off by simmering 5 cups of chicken broth (I use low sodium) in a large saucepan. You don’t need to boil it or anything; it just needs to be heated through so you’re not adding cold/cool chicken broth to your rice when the time comes.
While that is warming up, heat the olive oil and butter in a large, heavy sauce pan. Remove some sweet Italian sausage from the casings and add to the pan, breaking it up into smallish chunks. Add the onions, garlic, bell peppers, and mushrooms. Sautee all of this until the sausage is browned and the veggies start to soften, then season with salt, pepper, and if you want a little kick, the cayenne pepper. Add the unrinsed rice to the pan, stirring to coat it in the oils and butter, and letting it brown a little (just a minute or two).
Once the rice starts to take on just a little bit of color, add the wine to the pan, making sure to scrap up any brown bits from the bottom. Once the wine has mostly absorbed, add about 1/2 cup of the warmed chicken broth. I just do it a ladle at a time, making sure I’m stirring the rice constantly. Stir and cook until most of the liquid is absorbed, then add another 1/2 cup. Repeat this process, adding half a cup of broth at a time and stirring constantly in between each addition, until you’ve used all of the broth and the rice is cooked and creamy. Remove from the heat and add the parmagiana. That’s it! You’re done, and your arm has gotten a good workout! Now it’s time to reward yourself by eating a big, steaming bowl of creamy risotto!
*This post was sponsored by The Glass Barn, Indiana’s Corn and Soybean growers, but as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.*
- 5 Cups Low-Sodium Chicken Broth
- 1 Tbsp Butter
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 Links Sweet (or Hot) Italian Sausage, Casings Removed
- 1 Medium Onion, Diced
- 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
- 1/2 Red Bell Pepper, Diced
- 1/2 Yellow Bell Pepper, Diced
- 4 oz. Button Mushrooms, Finely Chopped
- 1 1/2 Cups Arborio Rice
- 3/4 Cup Dry White Wine
- 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
- 1/2 Cup Grated Parmigiana
- In a large saucepan, heat the chicken broth over medium-low heat.
- In a separate large, heavy saucepan, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Remove the sausage from it's casings and brown in the pan, breaking in to small chunks.
- After the sausage has started to brown, add the onions, garlic, bell peppers, mushrooms, and cayenne pepper. Continue to sauté until the vegetables start to soften. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the rice to the pan, stirring to coat. Sauté for about 2 minutes, allowing the rice to brown slightly.
- Add the wine to the pan, stirring well and scraping any brown bits from the bottom. Stir and cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 2 minutes.
- Begin adding the chicken broth about a half cup at a time, stirring the whole time. Allow the liquid to mostly absorb in between each addition. Continue adding broth and stirring constantly (about 2 minutes in between each addition) until all of the broth has been added and the rice is cooked through and creamy.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the parmigiana. Serve immediately.