My friend Vanessa had given me a big ol’ zucchini she had grown in her garden.  My plan was to stuff it today with a risotto-ish filling.  Sadly, when I cut into it to hollow it out a bit, it was just too fibrous for eating.

But having a risotto-ish dish on my mind, I decided to just make  ::drum roll, please:: Risotto!

I know…  What a concept.  But since we’re going to be gone next week gettin’ married, and all, it actually makes sense to use up the stuff in the house.

Risotto can be made with anything (and around our house, it usually is.)  This is a recipe based on ingredients we had on hand.

It starts off with Vialone Nano rice.  Here in the USofA, arborio is the most widely-used risotto rice, but in northern Italy the rices of choice are Vialone Nano or Carnaroli.

Vialone Nano is the regional rice of Veneto.  It is a round, short-grain rice (nano means “dwarf”) perfectly suited to risotto. The round shape of its grains enables it to absorb twice its weight in liquid, making for incredibly flavorful and rich dishes. This was my first time using it.  It won’t be my last.

Pork and Sausage Risotto

  • 1 small pork tenderloin
  • 2 hot Italian sausages
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 oz mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 cup Vialone Nano rice (or arborio, or carnaroli)
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 4 cups hot stock (I used the turkey stock I made the other day)
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1/2 tsp Greek oregano
  • 2 oz grana padano (or parmesan, romano…)
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Begin by sauteing onion in a bit of olive oil.  Add garlic.  Chop tenderloin into small pieces.  Remove sausage from casing.and then add pork and sausage to pan.  Brown well.  Add 1 cup rice and stir well, coating the rice with the oil.

Add spices.  Add wine and stirring constantly, scrape everything up and stir until wine is absorbed.

Add hot broth, one ladle at a time, continually stirring until broth is absorbed.  Total cooking time for rice will be about 15 minutes if using Vialone Nano and 20 minutes using arborio.

Stir in cheese and check for seasoning.


Risotto has a certain mystique about it.  Don’t tell anybody,  but it really is one of the easiest dishes one can make. And you really can make it with anything.

Give it a try.