Italian Sweet Sausage and Mushroom Risotto

It’s finally fall in Dallas. And by “fall” I mean that we are wearing scarves for fashions’ sake. It is below 80 degrees, which means it is high time to make Risotto.

Risotto is a time investment. The Arborio rice has higher starch levels, allowing it to absorb a glorious amount of chicken stock and flavors. You add a little stock every 5-ish minutes and stir continually. This can be exhausting, but the satisfying creaminess makes it worth the effort. I used mushrooms and sausage, but you can substitute your favorite protein and veggies (shrimp and asparagus works well too.)

Italian Sweet Sausage and Mushroom Risotto

Recipe adapted from Simply Recipes and Made in Italy by Giorgio Locatelli

  • 1 lb. Sweet Italian Sausage
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped as finely as you possibly can
  • 2-ish teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 2-ish teaspoons fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 cup dry marsala
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 7 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 3 Portabella mushroom caps, chopped
  • 8-ish Shitake mushrooms, stems removed and chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese for serving

Heat olive oil in large saute pan and add sausage. Let sausage saute in clumps without breaking up entirely. This will form a nice sear on little sausage meatballs.

Add mushrooms, oregano, thyme and cook until mushrooms are tender.

In a second saucepan, heat chicken stock until barely simmering. In a third VERY large stock pot, melt butter, and saute chopped onion and garlic until tender. Add rice and cook for 3-ish minutes.

Add marsala and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Now the fun begins…add one cup chicken stock and stir continually until it is fully absorbed. Add another cup of stock and continue until the rice is tender and actually tastes good.

Once the rice is tender, add the sausage mixture and stir to combine. Serve with grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese and enjoy!

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