Primitivo Risotto With Sausage

When I travel I always take a cooking class or two, or three. It’s so much fun to learn from people in other areas of the world. Last year when I was in Southern Italy (Manduria) I had a unique experience while visiting the home of local residents with Antimo, an experiential guide and travel consultant (owner of Voomago).  He had set up a cooking class to make Primitivo Risotto With Sausage.  Primitivo di Manduria is a key red-wine DOC of Italy’s southern Puglia region similar in flavor to Zinfandel, and is much more complex with a full body, fruity front, and a layered, long lasting taste. 

So for the cooking class, we arrived at this beautiful very tall home in Old Town Manduria. We were escorted through the main floor (living room and kitchen) to the 3rd floor where they had an indoor and outdoor rooftop entertaining area. Half of it was a large outside terrace and inside was a generous-sized family
 room and dining area with a second kitchen. This is where I had my cooking class.

The main dish for lunch was to be the Risotto Primitivo. This a simple dish to make that delivers great flavor!


Primitivo Risotto

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  • • Risotto - 2 handfuls per person
  • • 1 white onion chopped
  • • 1 1/2 liter Primitivo wine (sweet table wine is fine )
  • • 1 lb Italian sausage broken into chunks
  • • 1/2 cup of Creme Fresh or Mascarpone cheese
  • • Olive oil
  • • Butter
  • • Sage
  • • Parmesan cheese


  1. Warm up a generous pouring of olive oil and a few pats of butter.
  2. Add onions and sauté so they are cooked but not caramelized.
  3. Add the risotto (Italian measurement - 2 handfuls per person). I have to say this was a lot of risotto so could cut this measurement down a bit if you don't want a lot of leftovers. Also add a little sage at this point and coat the risotto with the oil/butter/onion mixture. Make sure that you are not letting the rice brown, you may want to take it on and off the stove to simply warm up the kernels of the rice for 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Then stir, stir, stir and add the sausage and wine. Use a sweeter wine for best results, a glass at a time as needed making sure that the mixture looks creamy at all times.
  5. Add half a cup of cream or mascarpone.
  6. Then it's stir, add more wine, stir, drink some wine, etc. I think most of the wine got into the dish and not drank by me, because I was still standing after 45 minutes of stirring/cooking, although others were debating that fact.
  7. If the risotto seems too thick and you are running out of wine (did I really drink that much wine?), you can mix some of the wine with water to add to the risotto.
  8. Cook al dente and top with parmesan, additional sage, and serve. Perfecto!


Calories: 4246 cal
Carbohydrates: 66 g
Fat: 252 g
Sodium: 7402 g
Cholesterol: 657 g
Protein: 155 g
Fiber: 2 g
Of course no Italian family would sit you down for lunch with just one dish – so out come the cheeses, olives, breads, nuts, then eggplant parmesan. We were offered salad at the end of the meal to aid digestion. Fruits were next (white melon and peaches) followed by cookies, espresso, and digestive after-lunch drink. Hic! You can just picture the spread. The family was so gracious to share their home. We truly enjoyed the entire experience, cooking, eating, and visiting with a lovely Italian family.

2 thoughts on “Primitivo Risotto With Sausage”

  1. Pingback: Understanding A Formal Italian Meal | Christina's Cucina Blog

  2. Pingback: Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, And Thyme Risotto | Christina's Food And Travel

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