Turkey Sausage and Kale Risotto

A creamy rice dish spiked with shallots, garlic, spicy turkey sausage and kale. Feel free to substitute a little white or red wine for the chicken stock. Don't use boullion, as it's too salty. No salt added chicken stock (or homemade stock) is best.

Ingredients:

1 cup arborio rice
4 - 6 cups no salt chicken stock
4 shallots, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. butter
1 8-inch link spicy turkey sausage, sliced (or sausage of your choice)
2 slices bacon, trimmed of most fat and cut into 1/2 inch dice
2 - 3 cups chopped kale
cracked pepper
1/2 tsp. or less crushed red pepper, optional

Directions:

Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil and butter in skillet. Add sausage, bacon, 2 garlic cloves and 2 of the shallots. Saute, stirring frequently to break up sausage into bits, until sausage is almost cooked through. Add 1/4 cup chicken stock and continue simmering until bacon and sausage are cooked through. Set aside, and keep warm. (It's OK if some stock is still left in the skillet).

Heat remaining 1 tbsp. olive oil in large saucepan. Add remaining 2 shallots and the rest of the garlic. Saute until soft and just golden.

Add rice to the saucepan, stir briefly until sizzling, then add 1 cup of stock. STIR CONSTANTLY -- this is important, as arborio rice will make its own sauce, but you need to keep stirring to bring out the starch in the rice, which creates the creamy texture. When stock is absorbed, add 1 more cup of stock, stirring constantly. Repeat adding 1 cup of stock (stirring constantly) until rice is almost tender, yet still firm in center. You will need anywhere from 3 to 6 cups of stock to achieve the right texture. Rice mixture should have a creamy, saucy texture by now.

Add sausage mixture, kale, 1/2 cup more of stock, crushed black pepper to taste and red pepper (if using). Stir until rice has reached desired texture, about 5 minutes.

Top with parmesan cheese, if you can tolerate.

Note: The key to this recipe is the arborio rice. Most white, brown and wild rices won't give you the texture and sauciness this recipe requires.

If you wish to use some white or red wine in the recipe, substitute 1 cup of wine for the 1st cup of stock you add to the rice.

Approximately 6 half-cup servings. Serve as a side dish or the main course, with some crusty bread or mixed salad greens and balsamic dressing.

See other recipes submitted by Jackie Mysak