Updated: Mar 19, 2019
I adore risotto- it's a meal that can serve as a main course or a side dish. It can be dressed up in any which way to fit the season or whatever you're craving. Also, I generally have all of the required ingredients in my pantry or fridge (stock, arborio rice, some cheese and a bit of oil or butter), so it's perfect to prep when I haven't had time to hit the grocery store. All that being said, risotto takes some effort... there is A LOT of stirring involved. It needs TLC, and frankly, I often don't have the time or energy to deal with this high maintenance rice dish. When I learned that I could make risotto in the oven, it was a huge epiphany! Before I heard about this trick (thanks Ina!), I would rarely serve risotto when entertaining because it meant I'd be hiding in the kitchen babysitting a pot of rice for an hour. Oven risotto, however, has become one of my go-to dinner party recipes. I can pop the arborio rice and stock into an oven and 45 minutes later PRESTO it's ready- perfectly creamy and tasting exactly the same as a a pot that I'd been constantly stirring. P.S.- my family loves leftover risotto "balls," or arancini. Roll them in some breadcrumbs and lightly fry in olive oil...they are totally addicting. Refresh your risotto routine with this genius method and you'll be making this classic Italian "riso" on repeat.
prep time: 10 min. cook time: 50 min. serves: 4 as a main dish, 6 as a side dish
1-1/2 cups Arborio rice
5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
3/4 cup grated Asiago cheese (or parmesan)
1/2 cup dry white wine
zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp butter
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 tbsp chopped Italian parsley
Preheat the oven to 350°. Bring the stock to a simmer in a medium pot. Combine rice and 4 cups of the simmering stock in a heavy pot or Dutch oven. Cover with a lid and place in the oven to bake for 45 minutes. Remove pot from oven and place on very low heat on the stove. Add one more cup of stock and the remaining ingredients and stir 2-3 minutes, until the rice is thick and creamy. Garnish with more parsley and serve immediately.
Risotto Primavera: add frozen peas, blanched 2" pieces of asparagus and quartered artichoke hearts
Tomato Basil Risotto: add halved cherry tomatoes, chopped basil and 1 tbsp of pesto sauce
Mushroom risotto: add about 2 cups sliced mushrooms sautéed with EVOO, garlic and chopped thyme