HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
What are you cooking today?

risotto--need complimentary course

rcburli Jan 14, 2009 07:12 AM

I'd like to do a wintry risotto this weekend, maybe with sausage, mushroom, sage...something like that.
Any suggestions for that dish, and for another small dish to compliment either before or after (not a salad I don't think).
Soup or other?


  1. Morganna Jan 14, 2009 07:34 AM

    Just my 2 cents here, a risotto with mushroom and sausage would be a complete meal. I wouldn't even want a side dish. Even bread might just be too much. :)

    So some ideas I'm tossing out here:
    steamed green beans tossed with a little olive oil and garlic
    brussel sprouts, pan fried and tossed with some olive oil and garlic
    Some other green, lightly steamed or pan fried with some olive oil and garlic?

    I'm like a one trick pony I think. ;D

    4 Replies
    1. re: Morganna
      rcburli Jan 14, 2009 07:35 AM

      Yes, good point.
      How about a dessert?

      1. re: rcburli
        Cpt Wafer Jan 14, 2009 07:58 AM

        I'm usually all about the chocolate but perhaps baked pear with honey and shaved Parmigiano would be nice (and easy).

        The recipe is easily adaptable to whatever honey you have and water can be substituted for the wine.

        1. re: Cpt Wafer
          Morganna Jan 14, 2009 10:22 AM

          Oo that sounds good. :)

          I tend to be all about chocolate, too. ;D Though lately I've found some fruit sorbets (that we get from Costco) to be nice. :) I love the coconut ones. :)

          1. re: Morganna
            Cpt Wafer Jan 14, 2009 10:43 AM

            Well, if you like chocolate you may prefer baked pears with chocolate sauce but it's a little more trouble.


    2. j
      jaykayen Jan 14, 2009 07:46 AM

      Let the risotto stand by itself.

      Actually, I'd rather decompose it, and maybe do mushroom risotto WITH sausage (rather than a sausage and mushroom risotto.)

      12 Replies
      1. re: jaykayen
        tmso Jan 15, 2009 03:39 AM

        Taking the sausage out of the risotto and turning it into the main dish was my thought, too.

        I'd do the risotto without the sausage, then follow it with sausages baked with wine, and something green (kale, green beans, etc).

        For those of you who think risotto sounds like a meal in itself: smaller portions! :-)

        1. re: tmso
          Morganna Jan 15, 2009 05:33 AM

          I'm not sure what smaller portions is supposed to mean, exactly. A risotto with a meat and some sort of "veg" (or fungus) is a nice meal. What's wrong with it being the whole meal? I -like- risotto with sausage in it. There's a nice flavour it adds to the rice. :)

          1. re: Morganna
            jaykayen Jan 15, 2009 09:32 AM

            There's nothing wrong. It's just not really Italian.

            1. re: jaykayen
              Morganna Jan 16, 2009 08:40 AM

              So there are no cooks in Italy or of Italian descent who have ever put the sausage in the risotto? Gotta tell Giada that, she's the one I saw adding sausage to it the first time I ever saw it! ;D I do think she made the point that it wasn't traditional, but still...

              I know it's not how risotto is traditionally made, but there have GOT to be people in Italy who have, at one time or another, added something to risotto and decided to make it a complete meal. It's not that alien a concept, is it? (I am willing to be mistaken, I'm just finding the sweeping generalization hard to swallow).

              1. re: Morganna
                rcburli Jan 16, 2009 09:52 AM

                This Batali recipe sounds great....

                1. re: rcburli
                  rcburli Jan 18, 2009 05:23 AM

                  FYI, the Batali recipe was delicious (used sweet/hot italian sausage rather than prosciutto).

                2. re: Morganna
                  tmso Jan 16, 2009 10:05 AM

                  No, your suspicions are correct, it's totally normal to have a large serving of a first course and call it a meal, whether that be pasta, risotto, or whatever.

                  My comment about portion size was because the question was about another course to go with the risotto. It's only a whole meal if you serve a double portion, sausage or no. With the sausage in the risotto, I'd probably serve a piece of fish, or maybe eggs for the second course. But personally, I'd rather have sausage baked with wine than in the risotto, thus my suggestion :-)

                  1. re: Morganna
                    jaykayen Jan 16, 2009 10:31 AM

                    You don't need meat to make a complete meal, and you don't need to put a complete meal all on one plate (or all in one risotto, as it were.)

                    In the case of the OP, who was considering a sausage and mushroom risotto, these ingredients are rather strong, and can stand on their own.

                    You can do it if you want, because you think it tastes good. That's the bottom line.

            2. re: jaykayen
              jen kalb Jan 16, 2009 10:19 AM

              I like mushroom risotto as much as the next person but risotto made with lugenega sausage (like the fresh italian sausage rings) is just heavenly.
              the original concept sounds great.

              Add a nice salad, some crusty bread and a dessert its sounds like a great meal.

              1. re: jen kalb
                Morganna Jan 16, 2009 10:45 AM

                For us, now, that'd just be way too much food, but we don't have normal sized stomachs any more. :) I often make "one pot" meals where the veg, protein, and starch are all together so we get some of each for a well-rounded meal. :) Portioning is a little easier for me that way, so are leftovers. :)

                1. re: Morganna
                  tmso Jan 16, 2009 01:32 PM

                  This is exactly my point about portion sizes. The risotto, bread, salad and dessert is a meal. If that sounds like too much food ... eat less of each!!!

                  1. re: tmso
                    Morganna Jan 17, 2009 05:04 AM

                    I may not being making my point very well. This is purely just me an my husband (and, well, maybe other folks who have had the same procedure). In order to have salad, risotto, bread, and dessert in a single meal (assuming I don't want it to take three or four hours to eat), I'd have to serve use three bites of each so we could get them all in. :) Bread expands in my stomach, and for some reason salad also takes up a lot of real estate in my stomach. Of course, I can have dessert much later, after things have processed a bit, so that's not an issue. It's just risotto AND bread AND salad, all in the same go is too much to fit in our stomachs. :) So I tend to cook more "one pot" things so we get some variety in a single dish (protein is -very- important to us, but just protein things isn't good for you and can get boring).

                    (We got surgery to cure our diabetes and that means we can only eat so much before filling up, and certain things make it impossible to eat certain other things at the same time, salad is one of those. On the other hand, it does mean I get to enjoy bread and risotto in small portions or as separate meals, which I couldn't really do before without serious health impacts. :D).

            3. n
              normalheightsfoodie Jan 14, 2009 01:33 PM

              In the movie big night the customer ordered a side of pasta.

              1. cassoulady Jan 14, 2009 01:50 PM

                Normally I make risotto as a main course serve a salad to start. It is a nice side dish with a braised dish tho like veal osso bucco. I think risotto tho is plenty and you could so a nice salad maybe with an italian dessert- pannacotta is fun with berries

                1. sarah galvin Jan 15, 2009 10:00 AM

                  I would omit the sausage and make an osso bucco with a simple risotto milanese.

                  1. l
                    likescrab Jan 15, 2009 01:14 PM

                    i'd serve a roasted beet salad with cheeseand nuts and serve with the risotto with mushrooms sauteed in butter with chiffonade of sage deglazed with white wine (or red). mmm that sounds good!

                    1. n
                      normalheightsfoodie Jan 16, 2009 10:35 AM

                      This has inspired me to do a risotto with shrimp, fish and maybe scallops. I will try to buy a lobster and use the shell of it and the shrimp for a stock.

                      I will serve the lobster, if all goes well with some butter lettuce and avocado with a citrus dressing.

                      1. n
                        normalheightsfoodie Jan 20, 2009 10:58 AM

                        You inspired me. I bought a lobster, shrimp, cod, asparagus, mushrooms and scallops.

                        I used the above in my risotto, and I used the lobster meat to top a salad with butter leaf lettuce. I added cucumber, a tomato and white asparagus. I made a citrus dressing using lime and tangarine juice.

                        I used the lobster and shrimp shells for the stock, where I added garlic, onion, asparagus bottoms, clam juice and vermouth. I let it simmer for about 2 hours. I strained the stock two times.

                        Thank you for the inspiration.

                        I served it with White Star.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: normalheightsfoodie
                          sarah galvin Jan 20, 2009 04:39 PM

                          Sounds lovely. Only one comment though, fish stock only simmers for 30 minutes.

                          1. re: sarah galvin
                            normalheightsfoodie Jan 21, 2009 09:26 AM

                            I will try that next time, I let it reduce, it was full of flavor.

                            1. re: normalheightsfoodie
                              sarah galvin Jan 21, 2009 10:45 AM

                              Full of flavour is what it's all about!

                        2. c
                          ChiliDude Jan 21, 2009 10:43 AM

                          Antipasto: Calamari alla griglia
                          Dopo il piatto secondo: Formaggi e frutta

                          Buon appetito!

                          Show Hidden Posts