Recipe courtesy of Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos

Sausage and Asparagus Risotto

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 55 min
  • Active: 55 min
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings
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Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 bunch thin asparagus (about 8 ounces) 

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving 

2 pork sausages (about 8 ounces), casings removed 

1 shallot, finely chopped 

1 cup Carnaroli or arborio rice 

1/2 cup dry white wine 

One 1 1/2-ounce piece Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese rind, plus freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh Italian parsley 


  1. In a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups lightly salted water to a boil. Add the asparagus and cook until soft, 5 to 7 minutes. With tongs, remove the asparagus and set aside to cool. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the asparagus cooking water cool to warm.
  2. In a deep, 14-inch nonstick saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over high heat. Cook the sausage, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until browned but not yet crisp. Set aside in a bowl to cool.
  3. Pour the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil into the pan, keep the heat high and use a wooden spoon to scrape up the bits of meat from the bottom. When the oil is hot, add the shallot, reduce the heat to medium-high and saute until softened. Add the rice to the pan and cook, stirring well, until the rice begins frying, 2 to 3 minutes. Pour in the wine, stir well and cook for 3 to 4 minutes to let it reduce slightly.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium low, add the cheese rind and slowly start adding the asparagus water in 4- to 6-ounce ladlefuls, stirring constantly and giving the rice time to absorb the liquid before adding another ladleful. Cook until the rice is nearly al dente, 12 to 15 minutes.
  5. Chop the asparagus into 1-inch pieces and add them to the rice along with the sausage meat and any juices that have collected in the bowl. Season the risotto with salt and pepper and continue cooking, adding asparagus water if necessary to keep the liquid level balanced, until the water is absorbed and the rice is al dente, about 2 minutes.
  6. Serve with a sprinkle of parsley, a dash of Parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil.
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