Tonight’s dinner was inspired by a posting by Andrew Scrivani who taught the Food Photography class I took last weekend, at CreativeLIVE.com. The beautiful Tomato and Basil Risotto was created by Martha Rose Shulman, and featured in the NY Times. Andrew shot and styled the photo that was published with the recipe.
While I have a couple ripe tomatoes in the garden, I did not have enough for this recipe. A quick trip to the Farmer’s Market (there is one everyday in the summer, somewhere in Seattle) and we were ready to go. I knew Dave would not be happy with the original vegetarian version of this recipe, so I decided to add in Chicken Italian Sausage and Speck (smoked Prosciutto). Oh, I also added some diced zucchini….I am adding diced zucchini to everything right now!
Laura’s Summer Risotto
extra virgin olive oil, for sautéing
2 quarts of chicken stock
1 pound Italian chicken sausage, removed from casings
5 slices of Speck or Prosciutto, cut into strips
1 small zucchini, diced
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 large diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup dry white
1 additional diced large tomato (I used up my small red and yellow cherry tomatoes)
1/2 cup julienned fresh basil
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese – reserve a little for garnish
Put the broth into a saucepan and bring it to a simmer over low heat.
Brown the sausage in a little olive oil in a sauté pan. Add the diced zucchini and the Speck. Sauté about 5 minutes. Add a good splash of wine (about 1/3 cup), steam for a minute. Turn off the heat and set aside.
Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a heavy saucepan. Sauté the onion about 5 minutes. Add the rice and continue to sauté about 5 more minutes. The rice will snap and pop.
Add the 3 diced tomatoes, thyme, garlic and salt and pepper. Sauté until the tomatoes have broken down a bit, bout 5 minutes.
Add the remaining wine and stir until it has evaporated and been absorbed by the rice. Begin adding the simmering stock, a couple of ladleful’s (about 1 cup) at a time. The stock should just cover the rice, and should be bubbling, not too slowly but not too quickly. Cook, stirring often, until it is just about absorbed. Add another ladleful or two of the stock and continue to cook in this fashion, adding more stock and stirring when the rice is almost dry. You do not have to stir constantly, but stir often and when you do, stir vigorously. When the rice is just tender all the way through but still chewy (al dente), in 20 to 25 minutes, it is done.
Stir in the reserved sausage mixture.
Add one more ladle of stock to the rice. Stir in the additional diced tomatoes, basil and Parmesan and remove from the heat. The mixture should be creamy (add more stock if it isn’t). Serve right away with a garnish of Parmesan and basil.