Sausage, Pepper and Fennel Risotto

I don’t use fennel as often as I should.

There’s no particular reason; it’s just one of those vegetables that I’ve never gotten in the habit of using.

Our friend in Spain is never without some in the fridge.

I regularly walk past it, not seeing it.

I’m attempting to change that.

Sausage, Pepper and Fennel Risotto

Total time: 30 minutes


  • 2/3 cup Arborio rice (or other rice specifically for risotto – Carnaroli or Vialone Nano)

  • 1/2 cup dry, white wine
  • 2 – 2 1/4 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 onion other half for the condimenti
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese – freshly grated  (about 2oz, 60gr)
  • Condimenti:
  • 6oz (180gr) sausages, any flavor, hot or not  

  • 1 medium fennel bulb
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 orange or red bell pepper  

  • 1 tbs parsley

Risotto with Sausage and Fennel


  • Heat chicken stock and keep hot over low heat. 

  • Finely chop onion. 
  • In medium saucepan heat butter over medium heat.  Add onion and sauté until transparent. 
  • Add rice and sauté stirring, for 2 – 3 minutes until rice has white center. 
  • Add white wine and stir. 

  • Start condimenti. 

  • When wine is almost absorbed add a 1/3 cup of stock, stir.  
  • When stock is almost absorbed add another 1/3 cup and continue adding 1/3 cup at a time and stirring. 
  • Before the last 1/3 cup taste a few kernels of rice.  They should be just ‘al dente’ – slightly resistant to the tooth but fully cooked.  If more stock is needed add it 1/6 cup at a time and waiting until almost completely absorbed. 

  • At this point risotto will be thick but not stiff – there will still be visible liquid and it will not hold its shape on a plate. 
  • Stir in the Parmesan and condimenti, pour into a bowl or risotto platter and serve immediately.  It will continue to absorb liquid and the leftovers (if any) will be very stiff. 
  • Condimenti:
  • Cut sausage into 1″ (3cm) pieces. 
  • Chop onion and pepper.  
  • Mince the garlic. 
  • Slice off stem end of fennel, remove outer layer if needed, otherwise rinse.
  • Cut fennel into 1/4″ (.5cm) slices, then cut slices in half.
  • Heat olive oil in nonstick skillet over medium.  Add pepper, fennel, onion and sauté 5 minutes. 
  • Add garlic, sausages and sauté until sausages are cooked through, 7 – 8 minutes longer. 
  • Stir in parsley. 
  • Turn heat to low and let cook slowly until needed.

Are there any foods that you would like to remember to use more often?

We were at Grand Frais today – the big produce store in Bergerac.  We decided that we are unfamiliar with at least 30% of the items on offer there…. Some I recognize but have never eaten, some I am totally clueless about.  

Today, mon mari picked up a bag of mashed taro root and gave me the ‘what the **** is this’ look.

I told him I was not going to start making poi…. or anything else with it.

I would be very interested to know what proper French women do with it.

Next time I’m going to take both my dictionary and my little food encyclopedia….

Let the adventures begin!

7 thoughts on “Sausage, Pepper and Fennel Risotto”

  1. A couple of years ago, I made the resolution to pick up one unfamiliar vegetable per week and cook with it, just to learn about new things. It was fun and I did get familiar with a few new faves. I’ll be interested to read about your explorations.

  2. I tried fennel once and found it very stringy. My husband was not impressed so have not tried it again. I should when we are in France because growing conditions are different there. We intend visiting the Bergerac Grand Frais now that we know about it, when we are there this summer.
    I gather from the Dronne Valley Network that Bordeaux’s Ikea is complete – the parking and restaurant are excellent and it is fully stocked. Hopefully we will be able to get a suitable mattress this year!

  3. manningroad, beetroot, chard and goat cheese risotto? Oh. My. On my list to try when my chard grows….
    Zoomie, it’s good to break out of the routine. I wish that store were closer!
    tasteofbeirut, I like it with fish, too. And raw in salads. Actually, I just like it!
    Tanna, it’s a really big store. 30% is a lot ;-))
    Gill, you’ll love Grand Frais…. wonderful place – but it’s cold inside LOL. I’ve never found fennel to be stringy – or at least not more so than celery.

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