Cool-jams Sausage and Vegetable Risotto

A  delicious one-pot meal, this creamy risotto is packed with flavor from Italian sausage, mushrooms, and asparagus. A quick and easy Cool-jams dinner favorite.
Cool-jams favorite Risotto
5 1/4 cups chicken stock
3 sprigs fresh herbs (basil, oregano, or
thyme) (optional)
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 (19.76 ounce) package
Italian Mild Sausage Links, casings
2 cups white button mushrooms, wiped
clean and sliced about 1/4 inch thick
2 cups Arborio rice or medium-grain
risotto rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 pound asparagus, stemmed and cut
into 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup peas (fresh shelled or frozen)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Shaved or shredded Parmesan for
garnish (optional)
1. Pour the stock into a sauce pan, if using fresh herbs, add them to the stock and bring to a gentle simmer. Cover until ready to use.
2. In a large sauce pan, heat oil over medium heat, add onion and saute until tender and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the sausages, using a wooden spoon, break up the sausage as it cooks into bite size pieces until browned, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring until just wilted, about 2 minutes. Mix in the rice and cook, stirring until the kernels are hot and coated with oil; about another 2 minutes. Add the wine and stir continuously until the liquid is absorbed.
3. Using a ladle, add the hot stock about cup at a time, stirring constantly and making sure the stock has been absorbed before adding more to the rice. Continue adding cup of stock and stirring rice constantly and gently. When the rice is about half cooked or only 1 1/2 cups of the stock remains add the asparagus pieces into the rice and continue stirring. When you have about 1 cup of liquid left, stir the peas into the rice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Continue stirring. The risotto is done when the rice grains are creamy on the outside and firm yet tender to the bite, (about 20-25 minutes total).
4. When the risotto is just right, remove it from the heat and stir in the shredded Parmesan cheese. Spoon into large soup bowls, top with shaved parmesan and serve immediately.