I absolutely love love LOVE risotto, but I do NOT love to make it all that much. Especially if I'm short on time. This cheater's risotto comes out delicious and creamy like risotto but without all the high maintenance risotto babysitting. The kids love this dish, and the beauty is that you can add whatever you like to this basic recipe: mushrooms, peas, whatever your family is into that night. Make it as a side dish or a cozy fall dinner, this easy recipe is a crowd pleaser. Save the traditional risotto for a special night you can dedicate to taking (and enjoying) your time cooking. Plus, if you make extra or have any leftovers you can use this risotto to make arancinis, which are simply amazing and can be frozen for a future lunch or dinner! Cheater's Parmesan Risotto
Adapted from Ina Garten’s “Barefoot Contessa: How Easy Is That?”
Serves 4 to 6
1½ cups Arborio rice
5 cups simmering chicken stock, (preferably homemade), divided
½ cup dry white wine
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup frozen peas
1. Heat the oven to 350F.
2. Place the rice, 4 cups of the chicken stock, and the wine in a Dutch oven. Cover and bake for 45 minutes, until most of the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente.
3. Remove from the oven, add the remaining cup of chicken stock, the Parmesan, butter, salt, and pepper, and stir vigorously for 2 to 3 minutes, until the rice is thick and creamy.
4. Add the veggies if using them and stir until heated through. Serve hot.
Another thing I love to do with this risotto is to make it more fun by adding vegetables or sliced cheese cut into cute shapes to it. We add heart shapes to make it "I Love You Risotto" or stars to make it "Nighttime Risotto" and it makes them that much more excited to eat it up, plus they get to cut the shapes with the cookie cutters themselves and they love taking part in making the meal.