- 1 package (19 ounce) JOHNSONVILLE® Hot Italian Sausage Links removed from casing* *Cut sausage link end to end, about three-quarters of the way through. Flip sausage link over, grasp casing and pull off.
- 32 ounces chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 4 ounces mushrooms, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups Arborio Rice, (Italian Short grain rice)
- 2/3 cup dry white wine
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 jar (14 ounce) tomato basil pasta sauce (or 1 ¾ cups of your favorite sauce)
- 2/3 cup frozen peas, defrosted
- 1 tub (6 ounce) Three Cheese Blend, (1 ¾ cup shredded Parmesan, Romano, Asiago)
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 2 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs
- oil for deep frying
- Making the Risotto: Bring the chicken stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Cover and keep the broth warm over low heat. In a heavy large saucepan over medium heat add oil. Cook the decased sausage links breaking them up with a wooden spoon into very small crumbles. Cook for about 8 minutes until no longer pink and cooked through. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to a bowl and reserve.
- Return the saucepan to the heat and add chopped onion and mushroom to the oil that remains on the bottom of the pot. Sauté for 5 to 7 minutes until softened and the liquid from the mushrooms has evaporated. Add rice and stir to combine for 2 minutes.
- (You can prep ahead up until this point, once you start the next steps, you will need to stir constantly for about 25 to 30 minutes.)
- Add wine and stir until the rice has absorbed most of it. Add garlic and a ladle full (about a cup) of hot stock and stir continuously, about 3 minutes until most of the liquid is absorbed. Add a second ladle full of stock and stir continuously for another 3 to 4 minutes, when most of the liquid is absorbed, repeat with a third ladle full and continue stirring gently. The rice should appear creamy but will still be al dente. Add Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce and the reserved sausage crumbles and continue stirring constantly for about another 7 minutes or until most of the pasta sauce has been absorbed and the rice consistency is thicker and creamier. Taste test the rice for doneness, add the remaining broth if the rice is still too firm and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the peas and continue cooking until the risotto is thick and creamy. Test the rice again for doneness, it should feel soft but firm at the center of the grain. Remove from heat, stir in the three cheese blend and allow the risotto to cool to room temperature. Once cooled it should be thick enough to form into a ball. (Can be made a day ahead and stored in the refrigerator before making the rice balls.)
- Making the Rice Balls: Heat the oil in a deep frying pan. Oil should be at least 2 inches deep.
- In a small bowl beat the eggs. In another bowl, pour in the bread crumbs. Once the risotto has cooled to room temperature, scoop a heaping tablespoon of rice and shape it into a ball, dip in egg, then in bread crumbs and fry for 30 to 45 seconds until browned and heated through.
- Transfer cooked rice balls to a plate lined with a paper towel; allow to cool for 3 minutes. Continue to spoon, shape, dip, and then cook about 6 at a time.