Every Wednesday, I’m featuring one of my favorite recipes from How to Cook Everything Fast. If you cook it, too, I want to see it—tag it on social media with #HTCEFast. And enjoy!
Whenever you can use what you’ve got and can save a trip to the market, I’m all for it. Flexible recipes like this Rice Bowl with Sausage from How to Cook Everything Fast are perfect for improvisation: I had excellent Indian summer peppers from the farmers’ market to use instead of the fennel. The recipe includes a couple variations to get you started, but the formula is infinitely variable. Here’s how: Start some rice in one pot and get the sausage—any kind—browning in a skillet while you prep the vegetables—broccoli, asparagus, green beans, or even greens would all work. Then add thick slices to the pan so everything cooks together and is perfectly seasoned by the time the rice is ready.
Rice Bowl with Sausage (from How to Cook Everything Fast)
1 1/2 cups short-grain white rice
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 pound hot or sweet Italian sausage links
2 large fennel bulbs
4 ounces Parmesan cheese (1 cup shaved)
Several sprigs fresh basil for garnish
1. Put 1 1/2 cups rice in a medium saucepan; add a big pinch of salt and water to cover by about an inch. Bring to a boil.
2. Put 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Cut the sausages into slices; add them to the skillet.
Trim and slice the fennel; add it to the skillet.
3. Sprinkle the sausage and fennel with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally until the sausage is browned and the fennel is golden, 10 to 15 minutes.
4. When the water boils, adjust the heat so the mixture bubbles steadily but not vigorously. Cover and cook, undisturbed, until small craters appear on the surface, 10 to 15 minutes.
Shave 1 cup Parmesan cheese with a vegetable peeler.
Strip the basil leaves from several sprigs and chop.
5. When small craters appear on the surface of the rice, tip the pot to see if any liquid remains. If so, cover and keep cooking until the rice is dry, checking every minute or 2.
6. Divide the rice among 4 bowls, and spoon the sausage and fennel over the top. Garnish with the Parmesan and basil, and a drizzle of olive oil if you like, and serve.
Photos by Kerri Conan