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Fennel, Sausage and Red Pepper Rice Pilaf 

Recipe, Courtesy of Patricia Bolger

I found this awesome recipe in The Toronto Star a couple of years ago and “The Big Guy” and I just love the fragrance and the interesting taste of this one-pot stove-top recipe. I found the recipe again at under the title One-Pot Rice with Sausages, Fennel and Peppers. It requires a special trip to the grocery to locate a stalk of fennel in the fresh vegetable aisle. Fennel (pictured below) is a bulbous vegetable with a feathery green top. It is a species of the carrot family and has a distinct anise or licorice flavor. It can be eaten raw, cooked or roasted and adds an aromatic component to any dish. Commonly used in recipes from the Mediterranean shores.

This recipe includes Spicy Italian Sausage but I have made it with the Salt and Pepper Sausages that are easily found at the local grocery. 

“The Big Guy” recommends that you immediately capture the bottle of dry white wine, pour a hefty pre-dinner drink and then chill the bottle for dinner. A nice bottle of Riesling or a Pinot Grigio adds good flavour to both the Pilaf and the wine glass.  


1 lb. spicy Italian sausages, casings removed

3 Tbsp olive oil

1 stalk of fennel quartered length-wise and thinly sliced

(Save the fennel fronds for garnish)

1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips

2 tsp sweet paprika

1 ½ cups long grain par-boiled rice

3 cups chicken broth

½ cup dry white wine




1.       Use a large deep skillet and cook the sausage meat in the oil.
      Break up the meat as it cooks and browns. 

2.   Add the vegetables, stir and cook for 3-4 minutes then add the
      paprika and rice.

3.   Next add the chicken broth and wine and bring to a boil. 

4.   Quickly cover and simmer over a low heat for 18-20 minutes. 

5.   When ready to serve, add the Parmesan and fennel fronds to
     the top. 


½ cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated

3 Tbsp fennel fronds, chopped 


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