The last time I made risotto, I caught my 4 year old trying to give the cat a haircut.
This is what happens when you decide to make risotto at 5 o’clock on a weeknight. You become a slave to the stove, frantically stirring away while your kids try to pull a fast one on you (the cat survived). What was I thinking?! Gone are the days my friends.
This is baked risotto.
No stirring, no babysitting. Your oven does all of the work.
All you need is a Dutch oven and a couple of basic ingredients to get started. I flavor my risotto with leeks, however a small onion or maybe some shallots would work as well. Give them a quick sauté, and then add your aborio rice. Cover with liquid and bake for 45 minutes. Because of the natural starches, there is no need to douse it in extra butter and cream. The result is a rich and oozy risotto rival to any restaurant.
Boring you say? But wait- think of the possibilities…
• Blistered cherry tomatoes with baby artichokes + torn mozzarella •
• Portobello mushrooms with shredded chicken + herbs •
While your risotto is in the oven, use that time to whip up a quick topping if you want. I used the leftovers from our Superbowl antipasti platter (yes, that’s how we roll) to make the first dish. For the second version, I combined bits and pieces of leftover roast chicken with sautéed mushrooms.
Then I threw it all together in one pot just because I was curious… it was so good!
One last thing- when your risotto comes out of the oven it will be quite liquid, which is how it’s supposed to be. If you prefer a bit thicker, just let it sit so that the rice can absorb additional moisture. You can easily correct the texture with more or less liquid according to your liking.
Dust with parmesan cheese and you’ve got yourself a feast!
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 c. sliced leeks (white + light green parts only) or 1 onion, diced
- 1 1/2 c. aborio rice
- 1/3 c. dry white wine
- 5 c. chicken stock, divided + more to taste
- 1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tbsp. butter
- salt + pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- In a large Dutch oven, warm the olive oil over low heat.
- Add the sliced leeks and saute until soft, but not colored about 5-10 minutes. If the leeks start to catch on the bottom of the pot, lower your heat and add a splash of water to loosen.
- Add the rice and stir thoroughly.
- Pour in the wine and cook until the liquid has evaporated.
- Add 4 1/2 cups of chicken stock.
- Cover and place into the oven on the center rack. Bake for 45 minutes.
- Remove the risotto from the oven. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of chicken stock, parmesan cheese, and butter and stir frequently for about 1-2 minutes. The texture should be oozy, not stiff. Add extra stock if necessary.
- Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with extra parmesan cheese to taste.
- Serve right away.