Oven Risotto with Sausage and Peppers

Risotto thinks it’s so superior. So delicate, so capricious, so high maintenance. A pretty girl who won’t get dirty. At least, that’s how it always seemed. Served in a ring mold in a restaurant, impossible to make at home. Of course, I’ve seen it being cooked, by friends who are better and smarter and worldlier than me. I know that it’s possible. But it’s one of those things, like word problems, that I’ve defeated myself from doing, so I don’t even try. I would like to tell you that today I conquered fears and faced challenges. That I fought risotto and won. And, in the end, that is the result, I suppose; though I can’t show my work, because I cheated. I made risotto in my kitchen, all by myself, like a grown-up who can solve simple equations. I tackled the risotto problem from another angle, which I think indicates an iconoclastic intelligence. I baked it in the oven.

And it was so easy, hearty, homey, and rustic. Like a thick-legged nonni sweeping concrete stairs in her housedress. Measuring and order of operations remain important, but after a few minutes stirring on the stove, you whisk the skillet into your oven and wait for the ingredients to create their own magic, while you sip a little wine and watch the Netflix fireplace. It’s fantastically simple, a dirty risotto for cool girls who are bad at math but wish that it weren’t so – such a cliche. This dish presents a classic combination of flavors, gorgeous in color and texture, creamy and toothsome, and done in less than thirty minutes. A perfect weeknight dinner, to serve your loved ones in the days before Christmas, when all is bustling, busy, and cold.

Oven Risotto with Sausage and Peppers
Adapted from a recipe in “Home Made,” by Yvette Van Boven


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 Italian sausages: 2 sweet, 2 hot, removed from casing and crumbled
  • 1 red bell pepper, cubed
  • 1 green bell pepper, cubed
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary, chopped
  • 2/3 cup Arborio rice
  • 2/3 cup white wine
  • 2/3 cup canned crushed tomato
  • 1 cup beef broth


Heat oil in a heavy skillet on the stove, add sausage and begin to brown, add peppers, onion, garlic, and rosemary, and saute while stirring, five minutes. Fold in the rice and fry for a minute, then add tomato, broth, and wine. Bring the mixture to a boil while stirring. Cover the pan with a lid and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 18-20 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed.


Jillian Bedell

Jillian Bedell is a writer and mother living in a farmhouse in Cushing, Maine. She is very good at talking about herself in the third person. She is co-author of Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road.


  1. Excellent Jillian! I’ve never been able to face the prospect of standing by the stove and stirring a pot of rice for 30-40 minutes, but this I can do, you may have just resolved the risotto dilemma.

      1. Jillian, there’s a Groupon today for a 6qt Hamilton Beach crockpot for $25. It’s the one we have, and we use it a few times a month. It’s one of those things that you have to make an effort to use the first few times, but once you do, you think of ways to use it ahead of time. I’m using both of ours this weekend not for cooking, but heat/serve. Since time is valuable and space is tight with a big holiday meal, they’re going to save me oodles of headache.

        Malcolm might not approve of the authenticity of my crockpot pulled pork, but sometimes set-it-and-forget-it is exactly what I need – and for 5 minutes worth of work, it’s pretty darn good.

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