Sausage and Fennel Risotto

Sausage and Fennel Risotto


There’s nothing more satisfying than a warming bowl of risotto. This flavour-packed sausage and fennel delight is guaranteed to come up trumps on chilly nights – and it’s so much quicker to make than you might think!
Difficulty: Advanced Prep Time 20 min Cook Time 50 min Total Time 1 hr 10 mins Servings: 4 Best Season: Winter



  1. Remove the sausage meat from the casings and roll into mini meatballs. Aim for 4 mini meatballs per sausage.

  2. Bring the stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and cover; you want to keep the stock warm over very low heat.

  3. Heat the extra-virgin olive oil in a large, non-stick saucepan or stockpot over medium heat.

  4. Add the mini sausage meatballs and cook for around 5 minutes, or until browned and cooked through. You may need to do this in two batches. You can either individually turn each meatball every couple of minutes or, to make things easier, simply give the pot a good shake every couple of minutes – this will ensure that they brown all over. Note: this will only work with a non-stick pot.

  5. Using tongs or a spider, transfer the meatballs to a chopping board, leaving the sausage-infused oil behind.

  6. Return the saucepan to the stove and heat over medium heat. Add the fennel and season with a good pinch of sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 7 to 10 minutes.

  7. Add the garlic and fennel seeds and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

  8. Add the rice and season well with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.

  9. Add the white wine and cook, stirring often, until the pan is almost dry, 1 to 2 mins.

  10. Add one ladleful of the hot stock and cook, stirring almost constantly, until the stock is fully absorbed. Add another ladleful of stock and cook, stirring almost constantly, until the stock is fully absorbed. Repeat this process until the rice is cooked; it should be tender but with a slight bite. The whole process should take around 25 to 30 mins. If you run out of stock before the rice is cooked, add one ladleful of hot water at a time, stirring frequently until absorbed, until the rice is cooked to your liking.

  11. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Add the grana padano and butter and stir well to combine. Cover the saucepan and allow the risotto to sit for 3 to 5 minutes before serving. You might be tempted to skip this step but don’t! This is when the risotto becomes deliciously creamy.

  12. Adjust seasoning, to taste (if necessary) then serve and enjoy!

Keywords: sausage, fennel, risotto, italian, rice

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