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Food
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Kitchen Mailbox Countdown to Dinner Dining
Covered Risotto With Sausage, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Escarole

By Arlene Burnett, Kitchen Mailbox

Choosing my favorite recipe is always difficult. I test close to 100 recipes a year and I have to say I enjoy them all and so does my husband. So I enlisted his help in coming up with Kitchen Mailbox's favorite recipe of the year.

And the award goes to ... Covered Risotto With Sausage, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Escarole sent in by Bill Cardone of Mc- Candless. The intense flavors of the escarole, sun-dried-tomatoes and sausage blend perfectly with the creamy risotto.

Covered Risotto With Sausage,
Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Escarole

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound hot sausage, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
6 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and finely diced
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
5 cups chicken stock, plus more if needed, heated to a simmer
1 cup coarsely chopped escarole
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Fresh basil, shredded for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Thoroughly oil a 2-quart baking dish, and set aside. In a skillet, cook sausage, stirring, over medium heat, until browned. Using a slotted spoon, remove sausage and place in a small bowl. Add sun-dried tomatoes to sausage and set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a heavy saucepan, add onion and cook, stirring, over medium heat until onion begins to soften, 3 to 5 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Add 5 cups hot stock and cook over high heat until mixture begins to boil, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in sausage mixture, escarole, salt, pepper and 1/2 cup cheese.

Pour mixture into prepared baking dish; sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and nutmeg. Tightly cover with foil and bake until rice is cooked through and absorbs most of the liquid, 30 to 40 minutes; risotto should be creamy.

Serve in heated soup plates with more cheese and a sprinkling of basil. Serves 4 as a main course or 8 as first course.

Note: This dish took about 32 minutes to bake. It was creamy but not soupy and we didn't use soup bowls.

Thursday, January 04, 2001



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