By Emily Woodbury
I happen to LOVE risotto, but sadly I don’t make it as much as I’d like to. I could eat it every night for dinner and be happy, but it is time-consuming to make, mostly because without a crockpot you have to stir it a lot while it cooks. I was thrilled when I saw Einar’s easy crockpot recipe because, yay, no stirring (oh, and I can leave the house and come back to risotto – isn’t that magic?)!
So why is risotto made with Arborio rice and not regular rice? Arborio rice is shorter, fatter and more oval shaped than other kinds of rice. It undergoes much less milling than other types of rice, which allows it to retain more starch. When cooking risotto, Arborio rice releases that starch, resulting in the thick, creamy risotto we all know and love.
The first risotto recipe dates back to 1809, when the dish was presented at a wedding in Milan, Italy. The rice was sauteed in butter, with sausage, bone marrow, onions, broth and risotto’s distinct ingredient, saffron, mixed in.
Well, it’s only 10 a.m. and I sure am in the mood for risotto. Luckily I still have time to run to the store and pick up the ingredients needed for Einar’s recipe.
Saluti, chefs! (I think that means “cheers” in Italian….)
What Einar has to say:
“The crockpot is one of the must-haves in our camper. It’s great to be able to do a little prep work in the morning and then go out for the day. Then come back after a long, fun day knowing that dinner is almost ready to go with just a little more to do for it. All we do is make a salad to go along with it and save some of the wine to have with it. Enjoy it! Great to make at home too!”
Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Author: Einar Hansen
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 lb Italian sausage, sweet or hot. Casings removed.
- 5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 cups Arborio or short grain rice
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 4 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 2 Tbsp cold butter
- 1 cup half & half
- salt and pepper to taste, 1/2 tsp of each
- Melt butter in a pan over medium heat.
- Once butter is melted, add garlic and stir for 30 seconds, until fragrant.
- Add the sausage. Break it up with a spoon in the pan, and cook until browned.
- Add rice and cook for another minute.
- Deglaze the pan with the white wine.
- Spray your crockpot with PAM (or another non-stick spray) and pour ingredients in. Add chicken broth, cover, and cook on high for 2.5 hours, until rice is tender.
- After 2.5 hours add the remaining 2 Tbsp cold butter and Parmesan cheese, stir until butter and cheese have melted.
- Add half & half and stir until blended.
- Cover and let sit for five minutes, just enough time for the half & half to heat up.
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