Recipe created by Sarah Copeland and Diane Morgan
From the April 2012 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
Most risotto recipes require standing at the stove and stirring the pot continuously; this simpler version lets the oven do all the work.
Serves 4 to 6
4 strips bacon, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1½ cups Arborio rice
½ cup dry white wine
4 cups chicken broth or water
1 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. ground black pepper
1 cup frozen peas
½ cup chopped basil, plus more for garnish
2 to 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces), plus more for garnish
Active time: 20 minutes Total time: 45 minutes
Preheat oven to 400°. Using an oven-safe, straight-sided saucepan or Dutch oven with a lid, cook bacon over medium-high heat. When cooked through, remove bacon and set aside, reserving fat in pan. Add onion and cook, stirring, until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add rice and stir to coat with bacon fat. Stir in wine and cook until it has evaporated, 1 minute more. Stir in broth, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover and bake 20 to 25 minutes; check the risotto. Most of the liquid should be absorbed and the rice just cooked. Stir in peas and basil and return to oven, uncovered, for 5 more minutes.
Remove risotto from oven and stir in butter and cheese. Add reserved bacon, season to taste with salt and pepper, and spoon into bowls. Shave additional Parmesan over the top and garnish with basil.
Baked Risotto Four Fresh Ways
Start with our recipe (simply leave out the peas and bacon and sauté the onions with 2 Tbsp. olive oil), and then pick a variation below.
Shrimp, tomato, and mozzarella: Follow the basic recipe, cooking 1 pint grape tomatoes along with the onions. After 20 minutes in the oven, covered, stir in 8 ounces halved, peeled, and deveined shrimp. Return to oven 5 minutes. Instead of Parmesan cheese, stir in 1 packed cup grated mozzarella along with butter.
Sweet onion, sausage, and spinach: Follow the basic recipe, using a sweet onion instead of a white one. Cook 9 ounces crumbled Italian sausage with the onions. After 25 minutes in the oven, covered, stir in 3 packed cups baby spinach (5 ounces), along with Parmesan cheese and butter.
Artichoke, ricotta, and mint: Follow the basic recipe. After 25 minutes in the oven, covered, stir in 8 ounces quartered canned artichoke hearts (the water drained), along with ¾ to 1 cup more warm broth or water, ½ cup grated Parmesan, ½ cup ricotta cheese, and butter. Top each portion with chopped mint and lemon zest.
Wild mushroom and Fontina: Follow the basic recipe, cooking 8 ounces sliced mixed mushrooms (like button, crimini, oyster, or shiitake) with the onions. After 25 minutes in the oven, covered, stir in 1 packed cup Fontina cheese (instead of Parmesan cheese) along with butter.