With time precious to all of us, this recipe for creamy risotto is a welcome change from the norm. Normally, risotto requires you to stir for 30 minutes or more non-stop. No wonder it costs so much in restaurants. This version is popped into the oven and you're free to move on to other things. Risotto uses a special rice, arborio, which absorbs a lot of liquid. Don't try this with converted rice - the results will be disappointing. Arborio rice is readily available in grocery stores.
2 tablespoons oil
1 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup diced red pepper
2 medium cloves garlic
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons arborio rice
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons white wine
3 3/4 cup chicken stock, hot
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup grated sharp asiago cheese (parmesan may be substituted)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9x9 casserole dish (2 quart) with cooking spray and set aside.
Heat the oil and sauté the onion and red pepper until soft and the onions are translucent. Add the garlic at the end and sauté briefly. Remove from the heat and add the rice, salt, pepper and wine; stir well to mix. Pour into the casserole dish and add the stock. Place the casserole on a rimmed baking sheet. Tear off a piece of aluminum foil and spray one side with cooking spray. Place the sprayed side of the foil on top of the rice mixture, covering well. Place in the oven and bake for 1 hour. Remove the foil and stir in the asiago and parsley. Return to the oven, uncovered, for 5 to 10 minutes more or until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is creamy.
Serves 4 as a main dish or 6 as a side dish.
Shrimp Risotto: Small (26 to 30 count) shrimp that are raw and have been peeled may be added to the rice about 15 minutes before it is done.
Lemon Risotto: Add the grated rind of 1 lemon to the risotto while it is baking.
Note: The reason for placing the risotto on a baking sheet is for safety. The casserole will be very full and very liquid making it difficult to get into the oven.