By Scott Koeneman / Fight theFatFoodie.com
I decided to take on a dish I have seen made at Bacaro, a local restaurant, many times. Bacaro is our favorite area restaurant and has the best wine selection for more than 100 miles. I've begged my way into the kitchen several times now. They let me help with prep and then watch and learn as they work their way through the dinner rush. Bacaro's menu is always changing, but one constant is risotto, and I love it. They do wonderful variations, but the base is always the wonderful creamy rice. And I mean creamy! Before adding whatever ingredient makes that day's version, they finish it in heavy cream and Parmesan cheese. Definitely not on the lighter side.
For my version, I used evaporated fat-free milk and pecorino. It was incredibly creamy and the nutty pecorino paired incredibly well with the salty, smoky turkey sausage I crisped up. The peas and parsley add a savory freshness.
Nancy loved it and found one serving very filling. Our bottomless 16-year-old went back for thirds!
Nutrition information from NutritionData.com: Calories: 326, fat: 8 grams, carbohydrates: 46 grams, fiber: 3 grams, protein: 16 grams, Weight Watchers PointsPlus: 8.
Creamy Risotto with Smoked Turkey Sausage
Makes 6 servings
6 cups of chicken stock
4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic
1-1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup evaporated skim milk
1/2 cup Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
Ground black pepper to taste
14 ounces smoked turkey sausage, cut into 1/2-inch slices on the diagonal
6 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley
Heat stock to a simmer, remove from heat and cover.
Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add onion and saute until translucent. Add garlic and continue to cook for 1 minute. Add rice, coat with oil and cook 3 to 4 minutes. Add wine and cook, stirring often, until absorbed by rice. Add 1/2 cup stock and continue to cook, stirring regularly until absorbed. Continue, 1/2 cup at a time, until all the stock is absorbed.
While the risotto cooks, add 2 teaspoons oil to a second skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage and saute, stirring only occasionally, allowing the edges to sear, about 10 minutes.
Once all the broth has been absorbed into the rice, add peas, evaporated milk and cheese and continue to cook until combined.
Plate risotto, top with parsley and sausage.