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Sausage and Spelt Berry Risotto

Pour yourself a glass of wine and enjoy making this risotto. It takes a while, but the end result is so delicious and creamy it's well worth the wait. We used beet greens, but use any dark, leafy green you have around (Kale, Collards, Chard, Broccoli leaves) and stir in during the final step.

 1 lb Italian Sausage (casings removed if in links)
 1 onion, diced
 2 tbsp butter
 red pepper flakes
 3 cloves garlic, minced
 1 frozen chopped tomatoes, or 4 cups fresh
 2.50 stock
 1 cup dry spelt berries (soak overnight in water, and drain before using in recipe)
 0.50 cup white wine
 A bunch of greens, rinsed and chopped
 1.50 grated salty cheese, like parmesan, Manchego, Hull's Trace

In a heavy-bottomed pot, brown the sausage, and then transfer to a plate. Add the butter into the drippings, and then the onions and begin to sauté. After a few minutes, add in the red pepper flakes (just a pinch), and then the garlic, and stir for one more minute. Pour in the spelt berries, and toss to coat and toast. Once they start to brown and smell great, add in the wine and scrape up any brown bits on the bottom. Turn the heat down to medium low.


Meanwhile, in another pot, bring the tomatoes and stock up to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer. Keep this pot on a low heat throughout the whole time you are cooking the risotto.


Once the wine has cooked off from the spelt berries, ladle in some of the heated tomato-stock. Take a sip of your wine, and get to stirring-- you are going to pretty much alternate between stirring (to avoid sticking/burning), and putting on the lid for a few minutes at a time for the liquid to absorb. Once that batch of tomato-stock has disappeared into the spelt, do it again, and keep going like this in stages until all the stock has been absorbed (probably take around 45 minutes.) Once you've finished with your stock, taste and check for doneness-- the berries should still be a bit chewy, but easily so. If they need bit more, add in some water and cover.


Once the spelt berries are cooked through, stir in the sausage and the greens and cook for a few minutes to combine the flavors. Take off heat, and stir in 1 cup of grated cheese (reserve the rest for garnish), and serve.