Risoni risotto makes a refreshing and easy change from regular risotto. It’s quicker to make, needs less attention and (most importantly!) is delicious.
I had originally planned for this to be an oven-baked tomato risotto, but couldn’t get arborio rice at my local supermarket. I didn’t feel like traipsing around different shops (probably not the best idea in this current climate anyway!), so made do with what I had on hand.
Sometimes these things work out for the best, and risoni risotto turned out to be a pleasant surprise!
Sausages, fennel and parmesan are flavoursome additions that elevate an otherwise simple meal. If you’re not a fan of fennel you can easily leave this out though.
Added bonuses: dinner is ready in 30 minutes and there are plenty of hidden veggies!
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Risoni risotto makes a refreshing and easy change from regular risotto. It’s quicker to make, needs less attention and is delicious. Sausages, fennel and parmesan are the perfect add-ins.
Dice celery (if the stalks have leaves attached, you can roughly chop these too). Finely dice onion and crush garlic. Melt 1/2 tablespoon butter in a large non-stick pot on medium-high. Add celery, onion and garlic and cook until tender (4-5 minutes). Stir in fennel seeds and oregano and cook for 1 minute.
Add stock, milk and canned tomatoes, then stir in risoni. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium. Cook for approximately 12 minutes, stirring frequently, until sauce has thickened (but is still quite “saucy”!) and risoni is al dente. Add peas when risoni has a few minutes left to cook. If you forget to do this, you can microwave the peas for 2 minutes and add in at the end instead!
Meanwhile, heat oil in a large frying pan on medium-high. Squeeze sausages out of their casings (discard casings) into the frying pan. Use a wooden spoon to break the sausages up into smaller pieces and fry until browned all over and cooked through.
Stir remaining tablespoon butter and roughly three quarters of the parmesan into the risoni. Stir in baby kale/spinach and cooked sausages. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide between warmed serving bowls and top with remaining parmesan and roughly chopped basil or parsley, if using.
WINE MATCH: A Pinot Gris.
GLUTEN-FREE OPTION: Use gluten-free chicken stock. Swap risoni for a small gluten-free pasta (i.e. risoni/orzo if available, or macaroni) - cooking time may vary, so keep an eye on it. Use gluten-free sausages.
INGREDIENT SWAPS / NOTES: If you don’t like the flavour of fennel, you can leave the fennel seeds out. You could use chorizo sticks (150g / 5.3oz) instead of regular sausages (roughly chop and quickly pan fry). Diced chicken tenderloins (seasoned with salt and pepper, diced and pan fried until cooked through) would also work.
STORING AND REHEATING: Store individual portions in containers in the fridge. Reheat in the microwave. Garnish with fresh herbs, if using, just before serving.