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I had something similar (and to die for) made with lamb chops at a favorite Italian restaurant. I tried to replicate it at home based on other risotto recipes I have used, and decided to use the sausage for a more every-day comfort food. This also works well with fresh sage or thyme instead of parsley, or spicy Italian sausage instead of the sweet.
- 1 1⁄2 lbs sweet Italian sausage
- 5 -6 cups chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion
- 2 -3 garlic cloves
- 1 1⁄2 cups arborio rice
- 1 cup portabella mushroom, cut into 1/2 inch dice
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- seasoning salt (to taste)
- McCormick's Montreal Brand steak seasoning (to taste)
- 1 tablespoon parsley (chopped fresh or from those wonderful, convenient tubes...)
- 3⁄4 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated and divided
- Cut sausage into 1/2 " slices.
- Place stock in a pot next to the burner you plan to use for the risotto.
- Bring stock to a slight boil. Keep the stock very lightly boiling throughout the cooking process.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet over med-high heat, brown sausage; drain leaving up to 1 teaspoon of the drippings for extra flavor.
- Over medium heat, melt butter and oil together in the skillet, scraping up any brown bits left by the sausage.
- Pulse onion and garlic in a food processor until well diced.
- Add the onion and garlic to the oil and butter and cook until onion is slightly softened, about 3 minutes.
- Add the rice, stirring until the rice is well coated, and cook for 1 minute.
- Add mushrooms and cook for 1 minute.
- Stir in the pumpkin and cook for 1 minute.
- Stir in seasoned salt and Montreal seasoning.
- Add 1 ladleful (about a cup) of the hot stock.
- Simmer, stirring frequently until the liquid is mostly absorbed.
- Keep adding stock one ladleful at a time until the stock is absorbed and the rice is al dente. You may not need to use all of the stock. Check the consistency of the rice after you have added about 4 cups of the stock.
- Stir in the parsley.
- Remove from heat, and stir in ½ Cup of the parmesan cheese.
- Stir in sausage.
- Serve with remaining parmesan as a garnish.
- To make it a bit less decadent, drain the sausage completely, trade 1 tablespoon of butter for a bit more olive oil and use turkey or chicken sausage.