Here’s a recipe that unabashedly appeals to lazy people. Are you typically exasperated by stirring a proper rice risotto? Well, the “Sausage & Fennel Orzotto,” from, might require fewer minutes to stir. You’ll still need to do it -- as well as to enjoy the seductive aroma of white wine as it deglazes your pan. In the end, orzo and rice are close cousins, and whoever will eat one will eat the other, I guarantee. We enjoyed this.

Truly, orzo fits into the “crowd-pleaser” category: “no-brainer,” “kid-friendly,” and all that. And to make this recipe even more innocuous, I used sweet Italian sausage with fennel (rather than spicy), and swapped smoked paprika for the red pepper flakes, although that smoked paprika may have been a bit too smoky for this kind of dish. Oh well…

I used a 2010 California Chardonnay, which was right on. My “orzotto,” after the stirring, was rewardingly creamy. Taste points go to the parmesan cheese and the lemon zest. I say, make an “orzotto” and be a hero.

Sweet Italian Sausage (1 lb.) = $3.75
Fennel (1) = $2.46

RECIPE: it’s easy to make people happy
dedicate at least one hour of prep and cooking to this meal
how spicy/sweet is your sausage? creamy, lemony flavors are easy to swallow

Next time, I will use what’s left of my chardonnay to make the “Potatoes with Leeks and White Wine,” from I’ll also make “Maria Speck’s Artichoke Tart with Polenta Crust,” from Ancient Grains for Modern Meals. See what happens with these when you come back to my site soon.