Drunken Risotto with Sausage and Spinach


  • 3 cups dry red wine
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 3/4 pound bulk Italian sweet or hot sausage
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/3 pound bundled farm spinach leaves, stemmed and chopped (about 2 cups, packed)
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup grated sharp Pecorino Romano cheese (a couple of handfuls)


Heat the wine and stock and keep warm over low heat.

Using a heavy pot with rounded sides, prepare the risotto. Add two tablespoons EVOO, two turns of the pan, and heat over medium to medium-high heat. Add the sausage and brown and crumble it for a couple of minutes, then add the onion and garlic and soften them up for a couple of minutes more. Stir in the rice and combine; season with salt and pepper.

Start adding the warm liquids a couple of ladles at a time, stirring vigorously each time you add the liquids to develop the starch. Allow the liquids to almost fully evaporate before adding more. From the time you begin adding the liquids, the risotto will take 18 minutes to prepare. In the last 5 minutes of cook time, stir in the spinach, wilting it in one handful at a time. Stir a little freshly grated nutmeg, about 1/8 teaspoon. In the last minute of cook time melt in the 2 tablespoons butter, then stir in cheese.

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