6 cups chicken stock (see link)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small red onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
4 tablespoons oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
10 ounces hot Italian sausage, thinly sliced
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons hopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 cups red wine
3 cups Arborio rice
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons grated Romano cheese
2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
3 tablespoons butter, optional


1. In a 2-quart pot, covered, bring the stock to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and maintain the stock at a simmer. 2. In a 4-quart saucepan, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat until sizzling. Stir in the onions and cook 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, stir in the garlic, and cook for 4 minutes. Raise the heat to medium, add the sun-dried tomatoes, sausage, red pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon of the basil, and 1 tablespoon of the parsley and cook 3 minutes, stirring to prevent sticking. Add the red wine and deglaze the saucepan, stirring to dislodge all the brown bits that might cling to the bottom, and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the rice, salt and pepper and cook, stirring continuously, until all of the wine has evaporated, about 2 minutes.
3. Add 3 cups of the simmering stock and bring to a boil while stirring. Reduce the heat so that the mixture simmers, cover, and let cook undisturbed for 15 minutes.
4. Stir the risotto; don’t worry if it is dry at this point. Raise the heat to medium, add 1/2 cup of the remaining, simmering stock, stirring continuously until it is all incorporated. Continue to add the stock 1/2 cup at a time, stirring continuously, until the risotto is cooked. This process will take 5 to 8 minutes. Taste the rice with each addition of the stock; it is perfectly cooked when it is tender to the bite but not mushy. You may not use up all of the stock.
5. Turn off the heat, add 1/2 cup of the remaining stock, the cheeses, the remaining basil and parsley, and the butter, if desired. Mix well and let the risotto rest for 2 minutes. Serve the risotto in warm pasta bowls.

In lieu of ordering pizza one night, Nick Stellino added ingredients on hand to basic risotto--confirming that once you have mastered a basic recipe, you can take it anywhere. Nick says that if you freeze sausage first and then slice it with a serrated knife, you can get paper-thin slices.

Sausage and Sun-Dried Tomato Risotto
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