From the April 2016 issue

Mushroom Risotto Recipe from Sapori Italian Restaurant

Try this side dish from a Macomb County Italian hotspot. Get the recipe here.

True Italian food isn’t supposed to be complicated,” Sapori Italian Restaurant‘s website says. And this Washington Township family-dining destination proves it.

“We wanted to reintroduce authentic Italian food to people here in Michigan,” says Brian Maiorana, who owns Sapori – which means “Flavors” – with his cousins, Frank Poma and Salvatore Monteleone. They realized their dream of opening a go-to Italian eatery featuring family recipes in March 2014.

Maiorana, who lives in Farmington Hills, notes many people have misconceptions about Italian food: It’s heavy, baked or bathed in thick sauces. Not at Sapori.

“We use simple ingredients and fresh flavors that complement each other to help people experience what it’s like to eat in Italy,” says Maiorana. It helps that Monteleone, their executive chef, moved to Michigan from Sicily 15 years ago. In his hometown, seafood is popular, due to its proximity to the Mediterranean coast.

For kids, Maiorana recommends the gnocchi. The potato-based pasta has small dumplings with a mild, chewy texture perfect for picky palates. And for the grown-ups, try the zuppa de pesce, a southern Italian classic with scallops, shrimp, mussels and clams in a tomato-based broth. Got a special request? “All of our dishes are made to order and from scratch.”

Get a taste with this risotto recipe – a great early course for your Italian meal.

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/3 cup shallots, peeled and minced
  • 1 3/4 cups Arborio rice
  • 5-6 cups organic chicken stock, plus 2/3 cups
  • 2 cups mushrooms
  • 1/3 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper to lightly season

Directions

  1. Cook minced shallots and butter in a medium saucepan.
  2. Once shallots have cooked down, add Arborio rice and half of the chicken stock (2 1/2 to 3 cups). Continue stirring and adding remaining 2 1/2 to 3 cups of chicken stock as needed until the risotto absorbs all of the stock. Note: Rice takes around 20 minutes to cook and requires frequent stirring.
  3. In a separate pan, sauté mushrooms in the other 2/3 cups of stock.
  4. Combine cooked mushrooms with risotto and add Parmesan cheese. Stir thoroughly and add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Garnish with chopped parsley.

More about Sapori Italian Restaurant

Dine in or carry out authentic Italian fare with fresh local ingredients.

  • Address: 6067 26 Mile Road, Washington Township
  • Hours: Noon-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, noon-11 p.m. Friday, 4-11 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday
  • Phone: 586-786-4674

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