Italian Risotto with Avjar

This recipe is a result of my crazy cravings one day. I wanted risotto, sausage and peppers, and for it to be creamy and delicious. We ended up loving it and keeping it as a mainstay recipe.

Italian risotto

Avjar is an African recipe made of tomatoes and peppers blended together. I found the recipe in the book ‘Vegan Fire and Spice’ by Robin Robertson. This book is unique and creative featuring recipes from various regions around the world.

Link to book on Amazon:

Time: 1 hour – Unless you prep ahead of time (The Avjar sauce can be made and refrigerated well in advance)

Skill Level: Easy-Moderate (Must have patience when making risotto)

Amount: 4 servings

You need:

Avjar Sauce (~1 cup):

  • 3 Tbl olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves – chopped
  • 2 large red bell peppers – chopped (You can sub green if red is too expensive)
  • 1/4 tsp hot pepper flakes
  • 3 plum tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pepper to taste


  • 1 cup ariboro rice
  • 3 cups veggie broth
  • 1 clove garlic – minced
  • 1/2 onion – chopped
  • 1 green pepper – chopped
  • 2 Italian sausage links – skin removed
  • 2 Tbl olive oil
  • Parmesan
  • Oregano
  • Salt and pepper

Do this:

Avjar Sauce:

  1. In a medium skillet, heat 1 Tbl of oil olive over medium heat
  2. Add garlic and cook until fragrant (~30 seconds)
  3. Add bell peppers, red pepper flakes, and tomatoes
  4. Cover and cook, stirring often, until soft (15-20 minutes)
  5. Uncover and cook (5-10 minutes) until good browning occurs
  6. Transfer to a blender or food processor and add remaining olive oil as well as the salt and pepper to taste
  7. Process until smooth

Avjar sauce


  1. In a sauce pan or large skillet heat 1 Tbl of oil over medium heat
  2. Add garlic and ariboro rice. Cook for 2 minutes
  3. Add 3/4 cup broth. Allow the rice to soak up all broth before adding more (RESIST URGE TO POUR ALL IN! It is important to do this slowly) Add 3/4 cup at a time until all broth is used.
  4. Once all the broth is soaked up by the rice, add ~1 Tbl of parmesan, a dash of oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix thoroughly
  5. Meanwhile while the rice is cooking…Heat 1 Tbl of olive oil in a separate large skillet over medium heat.
  6. Add the green pepper and onion. Cook for approximately 10 or until the veggies start to soften.
  7. Add the sausage and break apart with a spatula. Cook mixture until sausage is cooked through.
  8. Add the risotto, and avjar to the sausage and pepper mix. Mix to fully combine.







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