Do you love risotto but never make it because you don’t want to stand over the stove stirring constantly for 25 minutes? Well I have a secret, shhh, don’t tell anyone else but you can skip that step and bake it in the oven. Yes, you can put the whole thing in the oven and walk away for 18 minutes.
The wonderful thing about this dish is you can make it a thousand different ways. They key is the ratio of rice to liquid. If you follow that, then the sky is the limit.
For this recipe, I stuck with a more Italian theme and used chicken sausage, wild mushrooms and some other veggies.
Go ahead and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Start off by browning the sausage in a large Dutch oven (remove meat from the casings.
I started out by putting one pound of sausage in, then got carried away and stuck in another. Don’t judge me.
Once the meat is browned, remove it to the side and add in your onion, garlic, carrots and mushrooms. Saute them until the onion is nice and translucent. Add some salt and pepper to taste. Not too much though, the stock and sausage both are salty.
Now add in these gorgeous wild mushrooms. This one looks like a trumpet. You could use any mushrooms you want. These were on sale so boom, there you go.
Now add in your halved grape tomatoes. You could use a small can of diced tomatoes if you don’t have any fresh ones. Cook them just until they start to get soft.
Now add in your Arborio rice. This is a special short grain rice used specifically for making risotto. Stir rice around to get it nice and toasted (about a minute). Do NOT walk away from the pot, the rice will stick and burn and you will have to call for pizza.
Throw in about a cup of decent dry white wine, scraping all the yummy brown bits of flavor off the bottom. Next I decided to add in some tomato paste. Just a good-sized squirt will do. I like the double concentrated stuff in the tube. You can use as little as you want and store the rest in the fridge until next time.
Put the sausage back to the pot. Try not to keep eating it with your fingers like I do.
Now add in the vegetable stock. Feel free to use chicken stock if you have it, I was out so I used veggie. It won’t make a difference.
OK, now listen carefully. Bring the contents to a boil, stir one last time and put the lid on it. Place pot in the 350 degree oven and set the timer for 18 minutes exactly. Not 19, not 17. Trust me. I once let it go for 21 and it wasn’t the same. You can always cook it a little more but you can turn back time if it is mush.
Go do something for those 18 minutes…
Change the sheets on all the beds.
Clean the dishes.
Do jumping jacks.
Fold some laundry.
Pin stuff you will never make on Pinterest.
Write a note to a friend.
Lay on the couch.
Actually talk to your husband.
When the timer goes off, remove the pot and look in side. YUM. Now take just a tiny bit and make sure the rice is cooked. Now add the chopped parsley and lots of Parmesan cheese. Delicious.
Here are other combinations that are wonderful:
Mexican: Ground beef, taco seasonings tomatoes then add cheese
Greek: Ground lamb, tomatoes, feta and fresh oregano and mint
Veggie: any veggies and cheese just stick to ratio of 2 cups rice to 4 cups of stock.
Bake away and never stir it again. P.S. (it feeds a crowd so it is great for a dinner party.)
Oven Baked Risotto with Wild Mushrooms and Chicken Sausage:
1-2 lbs. fresh chicken sausage (casings removed)
1 onion chopped
2 garlic cloves minced
4 carrots diced
8-ounce package of wild mushrooms (or any mushrooms sliced)
Small container of grape or cherry tomatoes halved (can sub in 14.5 oz can of fire roasted tomatoes)
2 cups Arborio Rice
1 cup dried white wine
4 cups Vegetable stock or Chicken stock
½ cup – 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
Some fresh chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Let me know how it turns out. Happy cooking, Smarties!