Sausage and Chianti Risotto Recipe

Red wine adds an unexpected layer of flavor to this classic dinner.
Sausage and Chianti Risotto Recipe
Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

Servings: 6
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes


6 cups|1 liter 400 ml vegetable broth
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
8 ounces|234 grams sweet Italian sausage
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 (6-inch) sprig fresh rosemary
1 ½ cups|336 grams rice for risotto, such as arborio or vialone nano
1 cup|250 ml hearty red wine
1 3-inch square piece parmigiano reggiano rind (optional)
½ cup|76 grams freshly grated parmigiano reggiano cheese plus more for serving
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Bring the stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to its lowest setting to keep the broth warm while making the risotto.
  2. Heat the oil and the butter together in a large nonstick skillet over medium. Add the sausage, garlic, and rosemary and cook, occasionally stirring and breaking up the meat with the side of the spoon be sure it is very well crumbled, until the sausage is lightly browned and the rosemary leaves are crisped, 7 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage and rosemary to a plate, leaving any fat and the garlic in the skillet.
  3. Add the rice and cook, stirring often, until it begins to turn opaque, about 1 minute, stir in the wine and bring to a simmer. From this point on, you must stir the risotto constantly, not only to keep it from scorching but also to coax the starch out of the rice and give the sauce its creaminess. Reduce the heat until the risotto is cooking at a steady but not fast simmer. Stir until the wine is reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add about ¾ cup of the hot broth into the risotto and stir until reduced by about two-thirds, about two minutes. Add the Parmigiano rind, if using. Repeat the procedure, adding the broth in ¾ cup increments, stirring constantly until the liquid reduces by two-thirds, and the pasta is al dente, 18 to 20 minutes. During the last few minutes , add the sausage (but not the rosemary) to the risotto. Just before removing from the skillet from the heat, stir the grated parmigiano into the risotto. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Discard the garlic and parmigiano rind.
  4. Remove the rosemary leaves from the reserved sprig. Spoon the risotto into individual bowls. Coarsely crumble the rosemary leaves over the risotto and serve, with more parmigiano on the side.

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