Sage & Wine

I love all the usual garden herbs but here are two recipes that happen to feature sage and wine. One also features leek and I await its appearance at the market each season so that I can make this very dish. (My leek and potato soup was nothing to write home – or blog – about, sadly.)


  • Roast a (free range) chicken or cheat like me and buy one already cooked.
  • Chop up a leek (or onion if there’s no leek) and sautee in olive oil, with a couple of teaspoons of dried (or fresh) sage.
  • Add a mug of arborio rice and stir till rice turns opaque.
  • Add half a glass (or more) of white wine and stir until evaporated.
  • Add a few cloves of chopped garlic and then begin ladling in warm chicken stock.
  • When the rice is ready, serve it up and garnish with generous chunks of the steaming bird!

NB: I use a liter of the liquid stock in a carton and then sometimes add a little hot water and some stock cube so I have enough for the rice (check packet for the ratio). I might also throw in a bay leaf and some pepper corns. And make sure you add the juices from the roast chicken, whether you cooked it yourself or bought it. If you’re not used to making risotto, the aim is to make a stock that you could enjoy on its own merits – like a thin soup. It shouldn’t just taste like fake dishwasher that is gonna miraculously transform into something special when added to your rice.  I like to think of it as akin to the Japanese base stock “dashi”, which should have the taste sensation of “umami”, or deliciousness.



  • Chop up a few good quality beef or pork sausages and fry in olive oil.
  • When brown, add a diced onion and a couple of teaspoons of dried (or fresh) sage and a teaspoon or more chilli flakes to suit your taste. Sautee till soft.
  • Add half a glass (or more) of red wine and stir until evaporated.
  • Add a few chopped cloves of garlic, about half a cup of chicken stock, and a can of tomatoes.
  • Simmer until it’s all coalesced into an unctuous sauce.
  • Serve on top of a big pasta like rigatoni, with generous slashes of your preferred cheese.

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