I have found a new favorite recipe. This is the first risotto to make that list. This being a hypothetical list, I can't go back and check what else exactly makes it, but this one definitely does. This dish is pretty simple to put together, but the taste is magnificent. It has an aura of comfort food, with a little kick of spice, and everything comes together brilliantly in this meal.
Recipe - adapted from Bon Appetit, December 2007
4 tablespoons butter, divided
4 hot Italian sausage links, casings removed
1 small white onion, chopped
1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup California chardonnay or similar white wine
3 cups chicken broth
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
1/3 cup parsley
In a heavy (I prefer cast iron) skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and onion, breaking up any large pieces. Saute until the onions are translucent (4-5 minutes). Add rice and wine, then bring to a boil until all the liquid evaporates. Add the broth, bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer until risotto is tender (15 minutes). Mix in the Parmesan cheese and top with parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
With a total preparatory time of about 30 minutes, this meal is fast to put together and sure to please. If you don't like spicy, you can substitute another type of flavored sausage to adapt the recipe to your own.