We’ve all been there. Living in that apartment that has layers of other people’s lives on it. The not quite clean, or clean-able windowsills, the layers of dust in the basement that no one has laid a broom to in eons, the smudgy doorhandles. These things could be overlooked when noticed (or not) from a 20-year old’s eyes (think of that cheap, grubby apartment you got with your college buddies your junior year). But this 30-something’s eyes can’t handle it any longer.
Our new apartment is pretty nice all things told. It has wood floors, spacious, high ceilings, tons of windows and light, and its nothing like college apartments, but there is a slight layer of unknown. We’re only here for a year, so I’ve been able to check my neat-freak impulses and come to peace with most of the places I haven’t been able to scrub shiny. But the stove, well, that one I couldn’t shake. There was black around the burners, the grates were caked with burnt-on food and every time I looked at it, it made me a little sad. So, Tom and I took to it the other day and 2 hours later we had a glistening cooktop and oven. See?
I’m so psyched to be cooking on something I know isn’t covered in some stranger’s old food, and tonight, I made a classic in our household, risotto with spicy sausage. Don’t be scared. Its not a finicky risotto recipe. Its actually a pretty easy one pot meal — the hardest parts being the attentive stirring so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot and the waiting until it cools off enough to eat. It always turns out to be a delicious pot of comfort food, and I always eat way too much of it.
- Olive oil
- 1 lb. spicy Italian sausages, casings removed and chopped (pork or chicken sausage both work)
- 1 1/2 cups diced onion
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/4 cups arborio rice
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 4-5 cups chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cup diced veggie of choice (I usually use zucchini or tomatoes — asparagus is a yummy spring choice)
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- Juice of one lemon
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- Grated parmesan cheese
- 1. Heat olive oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add sausage, onion, and garlic and sauté until onion is tender (about 8 minutes).
- 2. Add rice and stir for one minute. Add wine and stir until liquid is almost gone. Then, add about 2 cups of the stock. Simmer for about 20 minutes, adding more stock as it becomes absorbed by the rice. You’ll want to stir frequently to prevent the rice from burning/sticking to the pot. Some people recommend heating up the broth before adding it. I’ve done it both ways, and heating the broth first works well, but if you’re lazy the other way will do.
- 3. Add your veggie of choice a few minutes before the rice is done.
- 4. When done, remove from heat and add parsley, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste.
- 5. Serve with parmesan.