Italian Sausage and Wild Mushroom Risotto


2 tablespoons olive oil
500g Italian sweet sausage, casings removed, crumbled into 1/2-inch pieces
300g portobello mushrooms, stemmed, dark gills scraped out, caps diced
400g ounces porcini mushrooms, stemmed, diced
(use other fresh, wild mushrooms in season or re-hydrate dried wild mushrooms following packaging instructions – strain and reserve mushroom liquid)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
2 tablespoons tomato paste
500ml Madeira
2.5L chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups arborio rice or other medium-grain rice
1 cup freshly grated Asiago cheese


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 and tomato paste; 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 heated bowls and sprinkle with cheese.

This dish makes a great starter or as a side dish with grilled steak as a main.