Pasta Risotto & You

By Nancy Caivano


Risotto with Sausage,
Roasted Fennel and Tomatoes

Serves 6



6 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 large fennel bulb,
   greens and stem removed, bulb quartered
Salt and pepper
5 cloves garlic chopped (or 1 tbsp jar chopped garlic)
1 lb Italian sausage, casing removed
   (hot or sweet, your preference)
1 onion, chopped
8 plum tomatoes, chopped
2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 cups simmering chicken stock
1/2 cup sliced black olives
3 tbsp butter
3/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese (or Parmesan)
1/2 cup grated provolone cheese
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
2 tbsp basil, julienne



Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat fennel with 1 tbsp olive oil. Wrap in aluminum foil and roast in oven until soft and golden brown. Season with salt and pepper, and coarsely chop.

Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and sauté until just beginning to brown. Add sausage, breaking up large pieces with a spoon. Cook until well browned. Drain fat and set aside.

In a large saucepan, heat remaining 3 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, and tomatoes. Cook until onion is translucent, and all liquid has evaporated. Add rice, stirring constantly, and cook 5 minutes more, making sure rice does not brown. Add wine, stirring constantly, and let totally evaporate. When wine is evaporated, begin adding stock 1/2 cup at a time, letting each addition evaporate before adding the next addition.

After fourth addition of stock is added, begin tasting rice. Rice should be al dente when done. You need to keep tasting rice, because, depending on rice, you may or may not have to use all of the stock. When fourth addition of stock is absorbed, add sausage, fennel and black olives.

After last addition of stock is absorbed, remove from heat, and stir in butter, Romano, provolone, parsley, and basil. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.


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This page created February 2000