Risotto from the Oven with Sausage and Bell Pepper
I made this oven risotto the day before hurricane Irene was supposed to hit New York City. I was all prepared for it to be our last warm meal before the Armageddon that Irene was supposed to visit on the city. The last real meal before we were reduced to drinking water out of our bathtub and subsisting on saltine crackers and the stash of ginger candy that I'd bought for my flight to France.
And although we didn't end up losing power, water or even our internet connection, it would have been a splendid final meal. It's also the third recipe that I'm sharing with you from Yvette van Boven's new book Home Made. We've already talked about how there are some pretty great projects covered in this book. Ideas for how to make things truly from scratch. For more on the book (and a couple of great recipes), see my last two posts.
This particular recipe proves, however, that the book isn't just about kitchen projects, but includes easy ways to get dinner on the table as well. I've never tried a risotto from the oven before, usually resigning myself to some serious stirring while standing over a hot stove. Doing it completely in the oven makes the final product a little less creamy than your typical risotto, but certainly no less flavorful. R would probably tell you that this was one of his favorite dinners in recent memory. At least, I'm assuming he would since he did an admirable job of putting this away for lunch and dinner in the same day. Truth be told, had we had more sausage on hand, and a few more bell peppers, or access to even one open grocery store, and had Mayor Bloomberg not been warning us to Stay Inside for God's Sake we'd have been all prepared to make it again the next day.
Risotto From the Oven with Sausage and Bell Pepper
Excerpted (with permission) from Yvette Van Boven's Home Made(Stewart, Tabori & Chang; September 2011)
If you make this for an evening meal, double the quantities.
1 tbsp olive oil
4 sausages (about 8 oz)
1 red bell pepper, cubed
1 green bell pepper, cubed
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, slivered
2-3 springs rosemary, chopped
hot-pepper sauce to taste
2/3 cup Arborio rice
2/3 cup white wine
2/3 cup passato (smooth tomato pulp)
1 cup chicken broth
Heat the oil in a heavy skillet that can also go into the oven. Preheat the oven to 350F/Gas 4. Cut open the skin on the sausages and crumble the meat over the hot oil in the pan. Turn over. Add the bell peppers, onion, and garlic. Sprinkle with two-thirds of the rosemary and dribble with the sauce. Pan fry the mixture while stirring for approx. 5 minutes. Fold in the rice and fry for another minute. Add the wine and stir in the passato and broth. Bring the mixture to a boil while stirring. Cover the pan with a lid and place in the oven. Bake the risotto for 18-20 minutes until done, or until all liquid is absorbed. Before serving sprinkle with the reserved rosemary. Serve with a small arugula salad.