Risotto alla Salsiccia Recipe

Risotto alla Salsiccia

Risotto with fresh pork sausages, peas, and parsley. A comfort food recipe from Northern Italy without too many pretensions. The first time I ate Risotto alla Salsiccia was at the Trattoria Due Cavallini, a small, rustic trattoria in Mantova famous for its Stracotto d’Asino, a rich donkey meat stew slow-cooked for hours. I left this “temptation” to my husband, who is a bit more adventurous than me and ordered the Risotto alla Salsiccia. It was love at first sight.

Next day I bought a few packages of Arborio and Carnaroli rice in town – Mantova is right in the middle of the rice growing area. The secret of this dish is the rice, don’t even try to prepare it using Uncle Bens or similar products. Arborio rice is grown in Arkansas, please read the ICYMI section under Ingredients.

Yield: 4 servings

Time: 45 minutes


  • 1 lb (450 g) sweet or hot sausage meat
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup (140 g) finely diced onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 5 cups (1 1/4 L) hot chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 cups (300 g) Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) white wine
  • 1/2 cup (50 g) grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup (110 g) fresh or frozen peas
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup (14 g) flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped


Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add sausage meat to it and cook stirring gently to break up any lumps. If meat does not render enough fat add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the skillet and continue cooking for about 10 minutes or until sausage has browned a bit. Season with salt and pepper. Remove sausage meat from the skillet and set aside keeping it warm. Leave about 1 tablespoon sausage fat in the skillet and discard the rest.

Return the skillet to medium heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Scrape any brown bits from the skillet bottom and add the onion and garlic. Cook for about 10 minutes or until onions are translucid and soft. Pour in the rice and stir it until well coated. If the onion rice mix seems to dry, add 1 more tablespoon olive oil to it. Cook rice until translucid stirring frequently for an additional 5 minutes. Add the wine to the rice and cook it until most of the wine is evaporated. Reduce the heat a bit and start adding the hot stock to the rice by the ladleful. Stir after each addition until stock is absorbed. Continue adding stock and stirring in the same manner for 25-30 minutes longer or until rice is “al dente”.

Add peas and cook for 5 minutes longer. Warm up the sausage meat briefly if has gone cold. Add it to the rice together with the cheese and parsley. Stir it gently. Taste for additional seasoning and serve immediately. Risotto with fresh pork sausages, peas, and parsley. A comfort food recipe from Northern Italy without too many pretensions.

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