Risotto with funghi porcini
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Funghi Porcini Risotto with Italian Sausage

This variation on Marcella Hazan's classic porcini risotto adds sweet Italian sausage plus a few wrinkles in quantities and preparation. 
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Resting Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: risotto
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Sheila May

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage sliced in 3/8" pieces
  • 1 1/2 ounces imported dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 cup white wine or red wine for darker color
  • 3 cups of meat or chicken broth
  • 1/2 small yellow onion can use 1 full onion
  • 4 tablespoons butter divided
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil (neutral)
  • 2 cups raw Italian Arborio rice
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt if necessary
  • Freshly grated pepper about 4 twists of the mill

Instructions

For the Sausage

  • With the sweet Italian sausage cut into circular pieces about 3/8" thickly.  Gently brown on both sides in a small skillet.  Set aside. 

For the Risotto

  • Soak the mushrooms in 2 cups of lukewarm water for at least 30 minutes before cooking. After the liquid turns very dark, stain it through a sieve lined with paper towels and set aside. Continue soaking and rinsing the mushrooms in frequent changes of water until the mushrooms are soft and thoroughly free of soil.
    funghi porcini soaking
  • Bring the broth or the canned broth and water to a slow, steady simmer.
  • In a heavy-bottomed casserole, over medium-high heat, sauté the chopped onion in half the butter (2 tablespoons) and all the oil until translucent but not brown. Add the rice and stir until it is well coated. Sauté lightly for a few moments and then add the cup of wine and allow alcohol to burn off.
    onions for risotto
  • Add the reserved porcini liquid and allow the liquid to be incorporated into the rice.  
  • As needed adding a ladleful of the simmering broth after the liquid is fully absorbed into the rice. Stir frequently to avoid having the risotto stick. When the rice has cooked for 10 to 12 minutes add the mushrooms.  (If you run out of broth, add water).
  • When the rice is done, turn off the heat and mix in the grated Parmesan and the rest of the butter. Taste and correct for salt. Add a few twists of pepper and mix. 
  • Spoon the rice into a hot serving platter and serve immediately with a bowl of freshly grated Parmesan cheese on the side.    If using the sausage, make a small indentation in the middle of the risotto and add a few pieces of the browned sausage.