Oven-Baked Risotto

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)

Ingredients

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)

Preparation Instructions

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.

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Transfer to the prepared baking pan. Pour chicken stock and water over the rice mixture. Stir gently to ensure even cooking.

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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.

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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.

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Eat plain or add some other elements to make it a little more exciting!

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