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Risotto with Corn, Spicy Sausage, and Wilted Arugula

Scott Phillips

Servings: four to six as a main course.

This warming risotto studded with fresh corn kernels and spicy arugula bridges the transition from summer to fall.


  • 6 cups lower-salt chicken broth; more as needed
  • 3 medium ears fresh corn, shucked and halved crosswise
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 packed cups trimmed arugula
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 medium leek (white and light-green parts only), finely diced (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1/4 lb. hot Italian pork sausage, casings removed and broken into chunks
  • 2 cups arborio or carnaroli rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (like Pinot Grigio)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano; more for serving
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (optional)

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 530
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 170
  • Fat (g): 19
  • Saturated Fat (g): 8
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2.5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 7
  • Cholesterol (mg): 25
  • Sodium (mg): 610
  • Carbohydrates (g): 73
  • Fiber (g): 3
  • Protein (g): 18


  • Heat the chicken broth in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until very hot. Add the corn and cook until the kernels are just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the corn to a cutting board and reduce the heat to keep the broth hot but not simmering.
  • Once the corn is cool enough to handle, slice the kernels off four of the pieces. Grate the kernels from the remaining two pieces using the large holes of a box grater. Discard the cobs.
  • Heat the olive oil and garlic in a large, heavy saucepan or medium Dutch oven over medium-high heat until the garlic is fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the arugula and toss with tongs until wilted, about 1 minute. Season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Transfer the arugula to a cutting board, let it cool slightly, and then coarsely chop it. Wipe the pan clean.
  • Melt the butter in the cleaned pan over medium heat. Add the leek and a generous pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the sausage, breaking it apart with a fork or spoon into crumbles, and cook until no longer pink, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the rice and stir until the grains are well coated with fat and the edges become translucent, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour in the wine and stir until it’s absorbed, about 30 seconds. Stir in the grated corn.
  • Ladle enough of the hot broth into the pan to barely cover the rice, about 1-1/2 cups. Bring to a boil and then adjust the heat to maintain a lively simmer. Cook, stirring frequently, until the broth is mostly absorbed, 2 to 3 minutes. Continue adding broth in 1/2-cup increments, stirring occasionally and letting each addition be absorbed before adding the next.
  • After about 20 minutes, the rice should be just cooked but still fairly firm. At this point, add the whole corn kernels, chopped arugula, and another 1/2 cup broth. Continue to simmer and stir until the corn is warmed through and the rice is just tender to the tooth, an additional 1 to 3 minutes. Stir in another splash of broth if the risotto seems too thick. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve the risotto immediately with a sprinkling of cheese and parsley, if using.

Get a double hit of arugula with a Tomato & Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese Dressing.


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Reviews (10 reviews)

  • Judy_Charlottesville | 12/30/2020

    Have been going through old issues of FC and made this recipe last night. The ingredients are wonderful but I agree with the last reviewer: this is JUST risotto and the instructions were so cumbersome- I felt dizzy trying to follow it. The "tweaks" make it so much easier. Sauted the sausage separately (used two sausages from Whole Foods = ½ lb.), drained some of the oil, added 1 cup frozen white corn and sauted until the corn was getting some golden spots on it. Removed this from the pan and then sauted the leeks and garlic, stirred in the rice and cooked a bit, as you do for risotto. Added the wine and then broth as usual. When the risotto was just about finished, added back the sausage/corn and then just before serving stirred in the fresh baby arugula (and some of the cheese). This let the arugula just wilt and its peppery taste was still noticeable. This was really good! The recipe is a great reminder that risotto, like quiche, is very open to your creativity and using some ingredients that you have on hand. (I usually keep sausages on hand in the freezer) Definitely will make this again- using this more "normal" sequence of making risotto!

  • MSH_Rye | 05/23/2019

    5 stars with these tweaks:
    Notes: Saute sausage. Take out and drain. Add 1 Tbsp olive oil, saute garlic and leek until soft. Add wine and simmer until almost gone. Add rice and stir to coat--may need to all more olive oil. Add broth. Meantime, blanch corn; once cool, cut off cobs. Set aside. Continue to add broth to risotto and stir. Once it's almost done, stir in the sausage, followed by the corn 5 minutes later. Stir, adding liquid as necessary, for about 5 minutes more. Add handfuls of arugula to taste, and stir until wilted. Once done, add zest of one lemon and stir to incorporate. Add cheese, stir, and serve.

  • SoCo18 | 08/13/2018

    I enjoyed this risotto quite a bit. I did cook the arugula and corn with the risotto rather than separately and managed to time it without overcooking. I felt the dish lacked acidity and that the sausage was slightly overcooked. Next time I would cook the sausage separately and add it. Otherwise, great risotto

  • Floridafoodie | 03/02/2011

    Made the recipe as it was written. Used a little more sausage than it called for and will use slightly more next time. Made it with the heirloom cherry tomato, fennel and arugula salad. Excellent dinner but time consuming. Will definitely make it again.

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