Recipes, Local specialties, Risotto

Sausage and Barbera risotto
(risotto alla salsiccia e Barbera)

Sausage and Barbera risotto

Sausage and Barbera risotto is a typical sausage risotto recipe from Piedmont, the north-west Italian region where Barbera wine comes from. Tip: rice grows from ancient times in Northern Italy, so every risotto recipe is typical of Northern regions, while the Barbera ingredient makes this very “piemontese“.

This sausage risotto recipe can be a gift from a magic trip to one of the most beautiful regions in Italy, according to Lonely Planet the top destination for 2019, as you can view in this brief video: . In particular, you can try it in the territory where Barbera is DOCG, i.e. in the city of Asti .

Its strong flavor and high calories contribution make this sausage risotto recipe a typical autumn – winter comfort food, that will leave you extremely satisfied.

As I always say, the choice of the right pan is totally crucial to obtain a good risotto. It is completely different from the one used for the pasta, about 8-10 cm high, traditionally in cast iron or copper.

Note: I have updated this post, since I learnt how versatile is a dutch oven.


  • Serves: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Time: about 50 minutes


As always, for any ingredient I believe you may not easily find in your Country, I suggest a link to the Amazon page where you can find it, so you can prepare your sausage and barbera risotto with a true Italian taste.

  • 300 g fresh pork sausage ( The one in the picture is the right one, hope you can find it. A good choice is:
  • 1 glass Barbera wine
  • 40 g butter
  • half onion
  • half celery stalk
  • 1 l bone broth. For a quick win, my best pick is:
  • 80 g Parmigiano Reggiano. My choice here:
  • black pepper (according to taste)

Note: for conversions, please refer to an online converter, like


Finely chop the onion and the celery, and start browning them with half the butter in the pan.

In the meanwhile, get the broth ready, boiling 1 liter of water with a Knorr stock.

Peel the sausage and, when the onion is brown, add the sausage and cook it for 5-10 minutes, stirring it. The sausage is only externally cooked and broken into small pieces, ready to be sprayed with Barbera wine. Tip: when you spray with alcohol (wine, vodka, grappa, …), always do it at high heat.

Then add the rice, stirring it with no broth for 5 minutes, to toast it. After this phase, in which the taste of sausage and Barbera wine has been given to the rice, start adding some broth and stirring frequently, to avoid the rice to burn. This phase will last about 20-25 minutes, depending on the rice. When it is almost ready, switch the heat off, add the remaining butter and a generous amount of grated Parmigiano Reggiano and stir with strength until butter and cheese have melted, then cover the pan and let it rest for 5 minutes.

Your sausage and Barbera risotto is ready to be served, with some black pepper dusted on top, if the sausage was not rich in pepper enough. And…

Buon appetito!

Suggested wine pairings

When a wine is an important ingredient of a recipe, the best choice is to pair it with the same wine.

Barbera ( is one of the most typical red wines in Northern Italy and can be easily found in any wine shop. Online, you can find a great selection of Barbera d’Asti for purchase here: .

In this case, my choice has gone to a Barbera that grows on the hills near Bologna, my town: .

Liked this recipe? If so, please leave a comment! And if you are into Italian risotto, check my wife’s favorite: pumpkin risotto or this perfect spring recipe, fava bean risotto!

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