06.04.12_Oven Parmesan and Pea Risotto

Ok, so the coloration of this picture is terrible. I'm not sure what happened. But trust me, it was delicious. Anyway, several months ago I saw an episode of Barefoot Contessa where she made "risotto" in the oven. I had been waiting to make it because I did not have pots that were oven-safe. Now that I have my new Calphalon pots though it was time to try this recipe out! We invited our vegetarian friends, Eric and Horia, over for dinner so I thought this would be a perfect recipe to try.

Technically speaking it was not a risotto since risotto actually refers to a cooking technique. Regardless, the end product came out creamy and delicious like a real risotto but was so much easier. Literally there is no way to mess this one up and no one would ever know you cheated. All I had to do was put 1.5 cups of arborio rice and 4 cups of stock (the recipe called for chicken but I subbed veggie for obvious reasons) while the oven was preheating to 350°. The pot went into the oven for 45 minutes until almost all of the stock was absorbed. I then mixed in 1/2 cup of white wine, another cup of stock, 1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese, 2 tsp salt and 1 tsp of black pepper.  I'm sure Ina would have been disgusted by the wine I used since it wasn't a goooood white wine but Whole Food's Three Wishes Chardonnay did the trick for us. I stirred everything together for 2-3 minutes then added a cup of frozen peas and stirred until they were defrosted.

After plating I added a little extra cheese and fresh cracked black pepper before serving. Eric and Horia brought a baguette and a bottle of wine and it made for a perfect meal! I was really surprised how good it was and how insanely easy it was. If you have been afraid to make a classic risotto definitely give this one a try. I think I'll be using this technique from now on just because it was so easy and then I can add in whatever I want. Maybe I'll make Butternut Squash Risotto again this way...

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