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Elegant Cakes – Sausage, Pepper and Mushroom Risotto
Life Should Be Cake

Sausage, Pepper and Mushroom Risotto

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This sausage, pepper & mushroom risotto is a hearty meal – just add some Italian bread and a big salad!

This risotto recipe has been a huge family favorite for nearly ten years now.

It’s one of the first “fancy meals” that I learned how to cook back in my mid-20’s, and it was an instant hit. is one of the very first meals that I taught myself how to cook and it quickly became a favorite with my family. Each year when my mom’s birthday rolls around, I offer to make her whatever she’d like for dinner… and every single year since I first made this risotto recipe, it has been her request. Yesterday was her birthday and when I asked what she wanted for dinner, she didn’t even hesitate… “the risotto with sausage, peppers and mushrooms!”

I can probably stop asking at this point

If you’ve never made risotto, it is most definitely a labor of love… while not a difficult dish in terms of complexity, it is a little time-consuming and requires constant attention. Once you have sauteed the sausage, peppers and mushrooms, deglazed the pan with wine and added the arborio rice, the stirring begins! Risotto gets its wonderfully creamy texture from broth being added a little bit at a time and stirred into the rice until mostly absorbed before adding more. The result is absolutely worth it and from start to finish, it still takes less than an hour to make.

(I’ve seen some recipes for oven-baked risotto, but I’ve never tried it, so I’m not sure if it would result in the same creamy consistency. Have any of you tried it?)

This risotto recipe is a perfect special occasion meal; it can be served as a main dish and goes great with a loaf of Italian bread and a salad.

One year ago: Beef Enchiladas
Four years ago: Honey Cake
Five years ago: Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple-Cream Cheese Frosting

Sausage, Pepper and Mushroom Risotto

Yield: 4-6 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

This sausage, pepper & mushroom risotto is a hearty meal – just add some Italian bread and a big salad!


5 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons salted butter
8 ounces Italian sausage, casings removed
½ medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
4 ounces white button mushrooms, coarsely chopped
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1½ cups Arborio rice
¾ cup dry white wine
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley


1. Add the broth to a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cover and reduce the heat to low.

2. In a large heavy saucepan or Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the sausage and saute, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks, until golden brown and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add the onion, pepper and mushrooms, and saute until tender, stirring occasionally and scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Add the rice and stir to coat. Add the wine and simmer until the wine has almost completely evaporated, about 1 minute.

4. Add ½ cup of the simmering broth and stir until almost completely absorbed, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking the rice, adding the broth ½ cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing each addition of broth to absorb before adding the next, until the rice is tender and the mixture is creamy, about 25 to 30 minutes total. Remove from the heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese.

5. Transfer the risotto to a serving bowl and sprinkle with the parsley. Serve immediately with additional Parmesan cheese to pass at the table.

(Adapted from Giada DeLaurentiis)

This recipe was originally published on September 27, 2009.

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