Baby Pea Oven Risotto

Last weekend I stood in the Charlestown parking garage with a dilemma. I already had two bags to carry the .80 mile (or 12 minute) walk home... but I also really wanted to bring this heavy cast iron dutch oven as well. And, it was raining.

The thing is... I had a lot of plans for this dutch oven and they needed to get started right away. My sister and I technically have shared custody of this pot but she is welcome to it anytime she wants to carry the 13 pound wonder down the 3 flights of stairs, down the hill, and up her 5 flights of stairs. But it was Sunday night and I knew I had sole custody.

The first thing I wanted to make with Big Red (the pot) was to attempt oven baked risotto. I'd heard a fair bit about it but never had the right type of pot to do a test. Spoiler alert? Oven risotto is frightfully easy and just as good. It's like making cupcakes and perhaps easier. You essentially leave the risotto the simmer away by itself for 45 minutes. You can do a lot of cleaning (or reading or nail painting or Tivo watching) in 45 minutes. 

I highly recommend everyone give this a shot. It's perfect for entertaining or people that are intimidated by risotto. To be clear, real risotto is worth all the hard work ... but oven risotto is a shortcut worth taking.

Here's how it goes.
(Step 1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

(Step 2) Place the rice and 4 cups of the chicken stock in a Dutch oven. Cover and bake for 45 minutes, until most of the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente. 
(Step 3) Remove from the oven, add the remaining cup of chicken stock, the Parmesan, wine, butter, salt, and pepper, and stir vigorously for 2 to 3 minutes, until the rice is thick and creamy. 

(Step 4) Add the peas and stir until heated through. Serve hot.
Shopping List (based on this recipe)1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
5 cups chicken stock
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup frozen peas

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