so, baked risotto. did y’all know about this already and no one told me or is this news to you too? because it’s a total game changer. making risotto just got 86% less annoying and 74% more likely to happen for dinner. on a weeknight. for serious.
‘member how risotto usually requires standing over a hot stove, stirring a pot for about 23 years? yeah, we’re not doing that. besides the obvious benefits (such as not having your arm fall off from exhaustion), the individual risotto grains also stay a bit more intact, which i prefer. i’m not sure whether that’s more “authentic”, but i’m quite clear that authenticity is not really my top priority on a tuesday night. dinner. now. cooking itself while my hands are free to snack on cheese and crackers. those are my priorities.
and lo, this risotto achieves all of my priorities! well, not “now” as in “instantly”, but “now” as in “soon, and with minimal effort”, which is close enough for me. there’s hardly any chopping (just an onion, if you buy presliced mushrooms which, shhhhh, i do…) and once you slide the burbling pot into the oven, you have about 20 minutes to get any other dinner components ready. (though i won’t judge if there is no such thing as “other dinner components” and you just warm yourself over a bowl of this baked risotto.)
as far as the rest of the ingredients, i recommend getting nice canned tomatoes (i’m partial to tuttorosso), since they will be responsible for a bunch of the flavor. along similar lines, definitely don’t skip the tomato paste; it’s crucial. i made a version of this risotto without it and resorted to adding little bits of tomato paste to my bowl of leftovers as i heated it up because the paste makes such a difference. on the flip side, i list red wine in the ingredients and i do like it that way but you should feel free to substitute chicken (or veggie) broth for the wine, if you prefer.
other than that, it’s pretty straightforward. baked risotto for the tuesday night win!
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