Get Ready For Thanksgiving With Donatella Arpaia

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Your favorite Food Network chefs will grace the next few issues with their takes on classic Thanksgiving recipes. This week, Donatella Arpaia, celebrity chef and partner at Prova Pizzabar in New York City delivers her recipe for Italian Sausage Stuffing.

Italian Sausage Stuffing

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 12

• 1½ cup wild rice
• 1½ cup Arborio rice
• 1 large onion, diced
• 4 stalks of celery, diced
• 4 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
• Container of mixed gourmet mushrooms, coarsely chopped
• ½ cup chopped flat leaf parsley
• 6 cups low-sodium chicken stock
• 1½ lb sweet Italian sausage casing removed
• 2 eggs
• 4-6 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
• Bay leaf

1. In a large saucepan, heat chicken stock with a small onion, bay leaf and 1½ teaspoons coarse salt, add wild rice. Cover and bring to a boil over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the rice is tender, about 1 hour; add a little water during cooking if necessary.

2. Cook Arborio rice in chicken stock according to instructions on box, set aside.

3. In a large nonstick skillet, brown the sausage meat over moderate heat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until cooked through, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool slightly, then coarsely chop.

4. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in the skillet. Add the onions, celery and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat stirring often, until translucent.

5. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in the skillet. Add the chopped mixed mushrooms and cook over high heat, stirring, until softened and browned, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add mushrooms to the onion mixture. Stir in the wild rice, Arborio rice and sausage and season again with salt and pepper. Combine all together add parsley, crack a raw egg and stir to bind together.

6. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cover the dish with foil and bake the stuffing for about 20 minutes, until heated through or if you wish to make ahead:

7. The recipe can be prepared to Step 4 up to one day ahead; cover and refrigerate. Let return to room temperature before baking.

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Jennifer Fauci is the managing editor of Long Island Weekly, Anton Media Group's award-winning special sections and Anton’s local magazines. Her passion for literature, travel and the arts lend to the unique content in her publications. In her time at Anton, she has received first place in the Folio Awards, second place for the NYPA awards and is the recipient of six PCLI awards.

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