Wednesday, April 4, 2012


I am Italian, but we never grew up eating risotto. It must be from a different region than my parents and grandparents were from. In fact I never have eaten it before I was an adult. Risotto is a creamy Italian rice dish with or without a vegetable in it. It is like Mac and cheese, but with rice and the cooking is so different.

In classic risotto, you use aborio rice and you stand at the stove and slowly add broth and wine and stir constantly for about 30 to 40 minutes. Very time consuming but very delicious. What you get is this creamy goodness without tons of cream. The starch in the rice makes this creamy.

So of course I wanted this last night, but #1 I don't have time with 3 boys to stand at the stove stirring for 40 minutes and #2 I have to make this healthier...of course. So I start browsing the web and found some ideas on baking this in the oven. Could this work? What if I used brown rice?

So, I decided to give it a try.

Here is what I used:

1 cup brown basmati rice (that is what I had)
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 to 2/3 cup good parmesan cheese
1 lb fresh asparagus

Sauté onion and garlic in the olive oil. Do not brown, just lightly sauté.
Add the rice, cook for 1 minute. Add the wine and stir till absorbed.

Put the rice mixture in a baking dish and add the chicken stock.
Cover tightly with foil and bake 425 degrees for about an hour. You may need a little longer.
While baking cut asparagus into bite size pieces and steam for 3 or 4 minutes.

When done remove from oven and add the Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper, asparagus, and a splash of milk...if desired and stir for about a minute until creamy.

Eat immediately ! So yummy.

I made this with pork tenderloin and cauliflower, but this is a great main dish as well.




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