Italian Sausage & Wild Mushroom Risotto

Happy Friday everyone!!

Remember on Monday I mentioned that over the weekend I made dinner for my whole family? 

Well, today I am going to share that recipe with you.  All last week I was craving risotto and wanted to try something different.  I did a little internet searching and found a recipe that sounded delicious on Epicurious, here.

Ingredients:  (Serves 4)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound Italian sweet sausage, casings removed, crumbled into 1/2-inch pieces (I used Johnsonville mild ground Italian sausage)
  • 8 ounces portobello mushrooms, stemmed, dark gills scraped out, caps diced
  • 10 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, diced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 1/2 cups Madeira (I couldn't find Madeira at the grocery store so I substituted Marsala wine)
  • 6 cups chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped (I left the onion out)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups arborio rice or other medium-grain rice (about 13 ounces)
  • 1 cup freshly grated Asiago cheese* (I substituted an Italian blend of shredded cheese that included Asiago)
The ingredients
Since there was 6 of us, we doubled the recipe and had plenty of leftovers!

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage and sauté until beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Add all mushrooms, thyme, and oregano and sauté until mushrooms are tender, about 10 minutes. Add 1/2 cup Madeira; boil until almost absorbed, about 1 minute. Set aside.

Bring stock to simmer in large saucepan; remove from heat and cover to keep hot. Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add rice; stir 2 minutes. Add remaining 1 cup Madeira; simmer until absorbed, about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup hot stock; simmer until almost absorbed, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Continue to cook until rice is just tender and mixture is creamy, adding more stock by cupfuls, stirring often and allowing most stock to be absorbed before adding more, about 25 minutes. Stir in sausage mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to serving bowl. Pass cheese separately (I also threw a handful of the cheese into the risotto).

Additionally, I opted to not combine the sausage mixture and the risotto.  Rather, I allowed people to serve it how they liked it.  I think almost everyone, except me, mixed the sausage into their risotto.

the chopped up mushrooms

first stages of the risotto

italian sausage

italian sausage + the mushrooms and herbs

italian sausage + mushrooms and herbs + wine

the final product
my plate without the sausage and risotto not mixed

This recipe turned out DELICIOUS!  If I were to do it again the only thing I would do differently, would be to get Italian sausage that is already in the shape of bratwursts and just cut it into slices.  It took forever to put the ground sausage into the little balls and was a pain to do while also trying to get the risotto going!

Do you like risotto?

As a side note--Happy Memorial Day weekend!  I am headed to Lake Gaston this morning for some R&R.  I'll also be guest posting over at Fit, Fierce, and Fabulous on Sunday while Cait is traveling around Europe, so be sure to check it out!  I'll be introducing myself to her readers by sharing a few of my favorite things! 

Do you have any Memorial Day plans?