Sunday, July 24, 2011

Carb Time! Baked Parmesan Risotto

This weekend I had a bit of a reprieve from my marathon training.  Months ago I signed up for the Warrior Dash, figuring it would be a nice change of pace from my regular training runs.  Plus there was the added bonus of getting to skip (well...prolong....) my first 18 miler of the season!  Since I was running an atypical run, I thought I'd make an atypical meal of preparation carbs....but what?

Barefoot Contessa to the rescue!  An easy Parmesan risotto...that you bake in the oven?!  Yes please.  I love risotto.  It's creamy and delicious, but in order to cook it correctly, you have to pay attention.  Classic risotto requires you to gradually add cups of simmering broth to arborio rice in order to develop that starchy, creamy consistency.  There's a lot of stirring and a lot of watching.  All well and good, but maybe not for a Friday after work.  This recipe yields all of the classic taste and texture of risotto but without all of the attention to detail.  Love it!!!  This will serve 4-6 people.  Or one person with a TON of leftovers!

1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
5 cups simmering vegetable stock, divided
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 tbls butter, diced
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 cup frozen peas

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Put the rice and 4 cups of the simmering stock into a dutch oven.  Cover and bake for 40 minutes, or until the rice is al dente and most of the liquid as been absorbed.  Remove from the oven and add the remaining cup of stock, cheese, wine, butter, salt, and pepper.  Stir vigorously for about three minutes, until the rice is thick and creamy.  Add the frozen peas and stir until heated through.  Serve and enjoy.

I wanted some more veggies to go with my starchy rice, so I steamed some broccolini and topped it with a pinch of salt.  Delicious!  A great way to get prepared for the Warrior Dash!  Though, if you ran it too, you'll understand that proficiency in mountain climbing would have been MUCH better preparation......

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