Quinoa, Squash, Sausage & Porcini Mushroom Risotto

Tonight's dinner was all about using what was in the fridge. I cooked three squashes last week that had been fall decorations. FALL decorations. They were from our CSA but were so cool looking that they sat on our mantle for a month and then in the fridge for several more. Squash last forever uncooked, but the cooked squash in the fridge needed to be used today or tossed. We had squash and black bean burritos last week that were really good, so I decided to try a different rice and squash recipe tonight. But when I opened the pantry and saw a big, new bag of quinoa in front of me, I decided to whip up a risotto with quinoa instead of rice. It was delicious!
This "risotto" isn't really risotto at all since it isn't made with rice, but the quinoa is cooked like a risotto, adding just a bit of broth at a time and letting it absorb before adding a bit more. The sausage can be omitted and vegetable broth used in place of the chicken broth, if you'd prefer a vegetarian option. Husbands can pick out mushrooms.

Quinoa, Squash, Sausage & Porcini Mushroom Risotto
~3 generous servings 

3 sweet Italian turkey sausages (approx. 1/2 pound)
1 c. chopped porcini mushrooms
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1t. olive oil
2 c. squash, cooked and mashed (I used a variety of three squashes including butternut - any squash except spaghetti squash will do)
2 1/2 c. chicken broth
1 c. quinoa, rinsed
1 t. dried, rubbed sage
1/4 t. red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
1/2 c. freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

 1. In a medium saucepan, cook sausage, onions and garlic in the olive oil. Crumble the sausage with a fork as it cooks

2. Add mushrooms and cook for 2-3 minutes

3. Stir in quinoa, sage and pepper flakes, cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly

4. Add just enough broth to cover quinoa. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the broth is absorbed, then add more to just cover quinoa again. Repeat until all broth has been added

5. When all of the broth is absorbed and quinoa is tender, stir in squash and cook until warmed through

6. Remove from heat, add parmesan, mix to combine

Serve warm with freshly grated parmesan cheese on top

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