Recipe: Sausage & Red Pepper Risotto

Words by Belmond Editors

Recipe: Sausage & Red Pepper Risotto

Alessandro Cozzolino, Executive Chef at Villa San Michele in Florence, looked back to childhood memories for this recipe. He took inspiration from his mother’s stuffed charcoal bell peppers dish, adding Gran Mugello cheese and Casentino sausage for a Florence recipe with authentic, elevated flair.


  • 150g / 5 ⅓ oz carnaroli rice (Chef Alessandro recommends Riserva San Massimo)
  • 4 organic red bell peppers
  • 80g / 2 ⅘ oz Casentino sausage, or high-quality Italian sausage
  • 20g / 1 ½ tbsp fennel seeds
  • Gran Mugello cheese
  • A knob of butter
  • A drizzle of olive oil
  • 500ml / 2 cups water
  • 500ml / 2 cups vegetable broth


Step 1 / 8

Grill the bell peppers until they are very nearly blackened. Remove the charred skin and seeds, and blend the flesh with a drizzle of olive oil to create a coulis.

Step 2 / 8

Take half the sausage meat and roll it into several small balls. Fry them in a pan.

Step 3 / 8

Roast the other half of the sausage until cooked, but still juicy. Then, crumble it into small pieces — this will be added when stirring the risotto.

Step 4 / 8

Prepare a fennel powder by grinding the fennel seeds.

Step 5 / 8

Toast the rice in a dry pan. Slowly add the water and let it cook for around 12 minutes, stirring constantly.

Step 6 / 8

When the rice is half cooked, slowly add the vegetable broth and cook for a further 12 minutes, stirring constantly.

Step 7 / 8

Add the roasted sausage balls, the knob of butter and the charcoal bell pepper coulis.

Step 8 / 8

Finally, stir in some finely grated cheese and fennel powder to taste, followed by the remaining sausage.

Sausage & Red Pepper Risotto

Discover Chef Alessandro Cozzolino's culinary inspirations as he prepares the dish

1 minute 19 seconds

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