I’ve slowly realized that I wander often into Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Felipe’s, or [insert grocery store of choice] with the best intentions…and depart with groceries bag full of vegetables, meat, and other misc. items. What’s wrong with that you ask? Well, all too often I don’t use 25-50% of the items I buy because none of them form cohesive dishes so I end up wasting food.
I’m been trying for the last 3 weeks where I actually sit down Sunday mornings and decide in advance what I’ll be making for the upcoming week’s dinners; I usually plan for 4-5 nights of cooking on the assumption I’ll end up eating out once or twice for dinner. And surprisingly, it’s working so far. The result is a nearly empty fridge (except for kitchen staples) by Fri/Sat.
One of the recipes I stumbled across during my Sunday morning planning sesh was Smitten Kitchen’s (yes, I love her website) Tomato and Sausage Risotto. I simply had to try making it since it incorporates all the major food groups: meat, a carb-y item, and veggies.
Tomato and Sausage Risotto
What you’ll need:
- 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes in juice
- 1/2 lb hot Italian sausage, casings removed (SK’s recipe gave the option of sweet or hot sausage but since tomatoes have their own sweetness I went with spicy)
- 1 small onion, diced
- 3/4 cup Arborio rice
- 1/2 cup dry white wine – I used Honig‘s Sauvignon Blanc
- 1 bunch chopped spinach, stems removed
- Salt & pepper for taste, grated parmesan cheese for topping
- 2 tablespoons butter
What to do:
- Combine the canned, diced tomatoes with 3 cups of water in a small saucepan. Bring to simmer and then just keep warm.
- In a medium/large saucepan (this is where everything will go), drizzle some oil and add the diced onions with the Italian sausage. Let cook for a few mins and break up sausage (mine had a tendency to clump together) until onions are slightly opaque.
- Add the Arborio rice until it’s lightly toasted and incorporated.
- Add the white wine and cook, over medium-low heat, until absorbed.
- Now the fun part — slowly keep adding the tomato/water mixture one cup at a time and stir to incorporate; don’t add more until it’s mostly absorbed. Keep going for the next 20-30 mins (felt like an eternity because it smelled fantastic).
- Once fully cooked (creamy and tender), remove from heat and stir in the chopped spinach and butter. Salt and pepper for taste.
- Serve warm and top with the grated parmesan cheese.
- Enjoy! Bon Appétit!