Creamy Risotto With Italian Sausage, Kale And Black-eyed Peas is so good that your friends and family will all want the recipe. That is what happened to me when I took it to a gathering of friends on New Year’s Day. Everyone took a small bite for good luck but were soon going back for more. During the course of the afternoon, I was repeatedly asked if I would share the recipe. Of course, I would be happy to and I have decided to share it with you as well. Enjoy!
I don’t know of anyone that doesn’t like the silky, creamy texture of risotto. Perhaps the most famous is Risotto alla Milanese which is risotto with saffron and parmesan cheese. Simply prepared, it is usually served as a first course or side dish in an Italian restaurant. When risotto is cooked with a combination of meats and vegetables it is usually served as a hearty main course. That is how I would suggest you serve this sausage, baby kale and black-eyed pea risotto. A crisp green salad, crusty bread and a glass of wine would be a nice accompaniment.
Sausage, Baby Kale And Black-eye Pea Risotto
Serves 4, adjust the recipe according.
- 1 – 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 5 links (1.25 lbs.) hot Italian sausage, casings removed and meat crumbled
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced
- 4 c. low salt chicken stock, more may be needed
- 2 c. water
- 1 15 oz. pkg. frozen black-eye peas (about 2 1/2 c.)
- 1/2 lb. fresh baby kale, stemmed or a 9 oz. box
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 large sprig of fresh thyme or 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
- 1 1/4 c. Arborio rice
- 1/2 c. white wine
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 1/2 c. more or less of Pecorino Romano or Parmesan grated cheese
Heat the oil in a large pot or deep sided skillet over medium high heat. Add the sausage and sauté, breaking up the meat up as it cooks, until browned. Add the onion, cook until translucent then add the garlic and cook about a minute. Add the stock and water, bring to a boil and then add the black-eye peas. Bring to a second boil, reduce the heat and cover. Simmer 25 to 30 minutes or until peas are tender. Remove the bay leaves and thyme sprig. Add the baby kale and stir until wilted. Using a slotted spoon, remove the sausage mixture to a bowl. Keep the stock warm on the stove.
Heat the butter in a high sided sauté pan over medium heat. Add the rice and stir to coat then add the wine and stir until absorbed. Ladle the stock a little at a time and cook, stirring every minute or two, until the liquid has been absorbed. Keep stirring and adding broth until the rice is just tender and creamy.
Add the reserved sausage, black-eyed peas and baby kale mixture to the rice and stir until just heated through. Remove from the heat, add the cheese and stir well. If the risotto is too thick, stir in a little extra broth to give it the consistency you like. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if necessary. Spoon into bowls and finish with a drizzle of your finest olive oil, if you wish. Serve addition grated cheese at the table.
Sausage, kale and black-eyed pea risotto, rich with Italian flavors, is a thick, hearty and comforting dish that should please even the pickiest of eaters. I was very surprised that my husband who doesn’t really care for black-eyed peas very much, loved this dish. He said he would be happy if I made it often, it was too good to only eat on New Year’s day to bring us luck. My friends seemed to agree with him and I hope you will as well.