We love risotto for dinner. I learned a trick on our recent visit to Rome. Take whatever vegetable (raw or cooked) you want to add to the risotto, and stir it with a serving spoon full of ricotta before stirring it into the risotto. I first tried it with chopped blanched spinach. I made a "normal risotto" with onion and butter, Italian rice (I alternate between arborio and carnaroli), and broth (usually chicken, but sometimes vegetable or fish stock). When the risotto is done, stir in the veggie/ricotta mixture with some parmagiano. For a one dish meal, I then add cooked sausage (remove casings), or shrimp, or whatever I need to do so Brad will think this is dinner! Sometimes I add white wine, prosecco, or something else as part of the liquid.
Yesterday I planned a risotto with some sausage I wanted to try from Trader Joe's:
Spinach, fontina and roasted garlic. I thought I'd add some chopped spinach, and call it a day. I had planned to make an extra large batch, and bring some to my friend who just returned from a knee surgery. Then I found out that because of a med she is on, she isn't allowed leafy or green veggies, so NO SPINACH! I ran back to Trader Joe's and bought chicken-apple sausage and some carrots and fresh thyme.
Then I began BOTH risottos at once at my stove. These were both an experiment with no recipe. I chopped lots of carrots with some vidalia onion and lots of fresh thyme for "Barbara's risotto". Hers was made with vegetable stock and 1/2 c. of apple cider for part of the liquid. I stirred in the carrots (with that spoon of ricotta), and started to cook the chopped chicken-apple sausage. Then we had an EARTHQUAKE! All I did was set down my wooden spoon, and all my hanging copper pots started banging together. The pot rack and kitchen and dining room light fixtures started swaying.
Brad called to see if "I felt it". YEP! But the risotto would wait for no one. I added the chicken-apple sausage, and Barbara's was done.
"Our risotto" was ready for more liquid. I went to the fridge to get my half a Costco size bag of fresh spinach, and it was mush! Ohoh! Was it THAT long ago this went into the crisper? Plan C! I picked a TON of fresh basil, washed it, chopped it, and added my ricotta. I cooked the sausage. After delivering dinner to Barbara and her husband (peaches and berries, risotto, and lemon gelato), I saw clients, and we had some of BOTH risotti for dinner. Barbara's was good, but "Plan C" was the BEST risotto ever! Who needs spinach?