I’m all about making things simple when it comes to cooking. Traditionally, risotto is not a simple dish. Cooking risotto involves stirring (note: constantly stirring) hot stock into the uncooked rice a ladleful at a time and cooking slowly as the stock is absorbed. So naturally it is not a dish made for the busy and underemployed 20 something. I love the creamy, velvety texture of risotto though so when I stumbled across an oven-baked version, I immediately searched for the Arborio rice in the back of my cupboard and gave it a try. The risotto tasted just as good as if I had spent hours laboring over it on the stovetop. Deliciouso!
Oven-Baked Risotto (adapted from Martha Stewart)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
3/4 cup Arborio rice
1/4 cup dry white wine, (optional)
2 to 2 1/4 cups water
1/2 cup homemade or low sodium canned chicken stock
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, (optional)
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9×13-inch baking pan and set aside.
In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until transluscent and browned, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring to coat the grains with oil, about 1 minute. Stir in the wine and cook until it has completely evaporated, about 1 minute.
Transfer to the prepared baking pan. Pour chicken stock and water over the rice mixture. Stir gently to ensure even cooking.
Place in the oven and allow to cook, uncovered, for 37-40 minutes, stirring after 20 minutes. Rice is done when liquid is absorbed and mixture is cooked through and creamy. Remove from oven.
Stir in 1/2 to 3/4 cup water (I added a little cream to make it even richer), the butter, cheese, and parsley. Serve immediately.
Eat plain or add some other elements to make it a little more exciting!