Italian Sausage and Pepper Risotto

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I have recently discovered that some of these meal delivery services post their recipes online. After watching Kay with The Organized Soprano effortlessly make this dish on her YouTube channel, I decided to tackle risotto for the first time. I’d always been intimidated by the idea of risotto being high maintenance and complicated, but using a Home Chef recipe for my first attempt turned out to be a great idea, as many of their recipes are designed to be followed by novices. I now realize risotto requires focused attention, but it isn’t difficult.

Disclaimer: I did not actually use the Home Chef service to make this meal. My recipe has some alterations for using ingredients I prefer or had on hand instead. For example, I used chicken broth as opposed to water and demi-glace. However, the dish still turned out excellent! I am excited to make many more risotto recipes in the near future, and I’ve already bookmarked several more tasty-looking Home Chef recipes to try at home later.

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Italian Sausage and Pepper Risotto
(Original recipe: Home Chef)

3 tsp olive oil, divided
3/4 C marinara Sauce
1 oz. finely grated Parmesan
2 Italian chicken sausage (removed from casings)
½ cup Arborio rice
3 cups chicken broth
1 oz. butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 TBSP fresh oregano, chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 oz. baby spinach, roughly chopped

Bring chicken broth to a boil in a small pot.
Place another medium pot over medium-high heat and add 2 tsp. olive oil. Add rice, garlic, and oregano to hot pot. Stir occasionally until rice is toasted and opaque, 1-2 minutes.
Add 1 cup boiling broth to pot with rice. Rice should just be covered by liquid. Stir often until nearly all liquid is absorbed. Add ½ cup boiling broth and stir often until nearly all liquid is absorbed. Repeat this process, stirring often, 18-20 minutes. Taste risotto as you cook, checking for tenderness. When rice has no more “bite” or crunch, it’s done. There may be liquid left. Remove from burner. Stir in Parmesan (reserving 1 Tbsp. for garnish), butter, and a pinch of salt. Cover and set aside.
Place a large non-stick pan over medium heat and add 1 tsp. olive oil. Add sausage and red bell pepper to hot pan. Stir often, breaking up sausage with a spoon, until no pink remains. Stir in spinach and marinara and cook until spinach is wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Plate the dish by topping the risotto with the sausage mixture. Garnish with the reserved Parmesan and serve.

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