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The National Hot Dog & Sausage Council is introducing a recipe that marries savory Italian sausage to portabella mushrooms and risotto to create a flexible dish fit for a holiday feast or a casual fiesta.
Sausage brings class and flavor to any holiday table, yet is versatile enough to be served in a casual atmosphere. This recipe can be served as an appetizer for holiday or sports event parties or as a main dish. The risotto can be served as the first course at a more formal dinner party during the holidays.

6 Entrée Portions or 8 Appetizer Portions


    • 1 pound fresh spicy Italian sausage, casings removed, crumbled into small pieces
    • 8 ounces portabella mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1½ cups Marsala, divided
    • 5-6 cups chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth
    • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
    • 1½ cups chopped onion
    • 1 large garlic clove, minced
    • 2 cups arborio rice
    • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


1. Sauté sausage in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, breaking sausage into small pieces. Cook until sausage begins to brown, about 6-7 minutes. Drain any pan drippings. Add mushrooms and herbs; sauté until mushrooms are tender and sausage is no longer pink, about 10-12 minutes. Add 1/2-cup Marsala; simmer until almost absorbed, about 2 minutes. Reserve.

2. Meanwhile, in a separate large saucepan, bring stock to a simmer; turn to medium heat and keep hot.

3. In another heavy, deep large saucepan, melt butter. Sauté onions and garlic over medium heat for 3-4 minutes or until almost translucent. Stir in rice and coat thoroughly with butter. Continue stirring rice and cook for 2 minutes until the edges of each grain are translucent with a pearly white center.

4. Add remaining 1-cup Marsala; simmer until absorbed, about 2 minutes.

5. Over medium-low heat, add 1-cup hot stock, occasionally stir, and let rice absorb most of the liquid, by simmering for 5-6 minutes until rice looks moist with only a little visible liquid remaining. Do not continually stir rice at this point or it could become sticky.

6. Add another 1-cup stock, stir occasionally and let rice absorb most of it, about 5-6 minutes. Add remaining stock 1-cup at a time and continue to cook until liquid is absorbed, stirring to develop sauce until rice grains swell and are firm but not hard in the center. Risotto should be tender, but slightly firm, never mushy.

7. Remove from heat and quickly stir in reserved sausage mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Risotto will continue to cook and absorb liquid as it is being plated. Thus, stop cooking when there is a little more liquid than desired, as it will be absorbed before serving.)

8. Serve immediately in warm swallow soup bowls. Pass Parmesan as a garnish.

Recipe courtesy of The National Hot Dog & Sausage Council

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