Chef and restauranteur Donatella Arpaia’s Italian sausage stuffing

PIX11 Morning News

World renowned chef and restauranteur Donatella Arpaia grew up in the restaurant industry.

Her father owned an Italian restaurant in New York City and then she opened her first restaurant when she was just 25 years old.

Arpaia joined the PIX11 Morning News to share some of her favorite side dishes to put an Italian spin on Thanksgiving dinner.

Arpaia showed off her string beans with garlic breadcrumbs, crispy brussle sprouts with garlic chips and parmesan and her sweet potato casserole with pecans.

Below, find her recipe for an Italian sausage stuffing, which is the perfect side dish for turkey day.

Donatella Arpaia’s Italian sausage stuffing


  • 1½ cup wild rice
  • 1 ½ cup Arborio rice
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, finely diced
  • 4 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Large container of mixed gourmet mushrooms, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 ½ pound sweet Italian sausage casing removed
  • 2 eggs( beaten)
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp of unsalted butter
  • ¼ grated parmesan Reggiano cheese


1. In a large saucepan, heat 3 cups of chicken stock coarse add wild rice. Cover and bring to a boil over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the rice is tender, but still al dente., add a little water during cooking if necessary.

2. In a 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.

3. Then over low heat in the same pan add 2 tbsp of butter to pan and teaspoon of chopped garlic, when garlic begins to soften add mushroom, salt and pepper. Increase heat to medium and if needed add a tablespoon or two of broth and cook for a few minutes stirring often. Remove mushrooms from heat and set aside.

4. Heat the olive oil in large deep skillet. Add the onions, celery and remainder of garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat stirring often, until translucent. Stir in arborio rice and stir for 2 minutes allowing rice to toast, then add one cup of dry white wine and continue to stir until it absorbs. IN a small pout bring chicken broth to a simmer and add broth in one label at a time until the rice absorbs, repeating this process for about 20 minutes until rice is almost cooked but still aldente.

5. Remove from heat, and Stir in the wild rice, sausage, mushroom and shredded parmesan cheese and gently stir until fully incorporated. Then gently stir in egg mixture and parsley.

6 Preheat the oven to 350°F. Transfer to oven ready casserole dish Cover the dish with foil tightly and bake the stuffing for about 10-15 minutes until heated through.

Garnish with freshly grated parmesan and parsley.

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