Follow Ina Garten's Lead And Cook Risotto In The Oven

bowl of risotto with asparagus
bowl of risotto with asparagus - Ale02/Shutterstock

Risotto is a classic Italian comfort food, with the delectable mixture of creamy, flavorful rice setting the scene for a bevy of vegetables and proteins to make a rich, savory meal. But risotto is infamous for its fussiness, requiring constant gentle stirring and the gradual addition of a hot liquid to cook the rice to the perfect texture. Luckily, "Barefoot Contessa" herself, celebrity chef Ina Garten, shared her method for cooking risotto to the perfect texture without having to watch and stir. All it takes is your oven.

You may think using the oven is a mistake that could ruin your risotto, as risotto is easily under or overcooked. But, in a video by Food Network on YouTube, Garten has taken the guesswork away for you, advising viewers to cook the risotto in a Dutch oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes. She reserves one cup of warm chicken stock to add after those 45 minutes when you finish the risotto by mixing in the rest of your chosen ingredients.

Read more: 5 Rice Brands To Buy, And 5 To Avoid

Essential Risotto Ingredients Garten Doesn't Forget To Add

butter into pan of risotto
butter into pan of risotto - Kondor83/Shutterstock

Even though Ina Garten is side-stepping traditional risotto cooking methods, it doesn't mean she's skimping on what makes risotto so singular and delicious. If you want to make risotto like a pro, the chef knows you can't forget high-quality parmesan cheese, some good white wine, and cubes of cold butter to infuse the risotto with rich flavor. Once the rice has reached an al dente texture, she adds these ingredients alongside the reserved cup of warm stock into the Dutch oven.

Garten cheekily notes that this is the part where you'll have to do some stirring. She demonstrates vigorously stirring these ingredients into the risotto for about two to three minutes, which is a valid trade-in for saving you the long, laborious stirring troubles of traditional risotto making. The celebrity cook also likes to use homemade chicken stock for the freshest, strongest flavor. But if you want to further simplify the process, canned soup is the secret ingredient for an easy risotto to swap in instead.

Customize Your Oven-Cooked Risotto How You Like

bowl of risotto with sausage
bowl of risotto with sausage - marco mayer/Shutterstock

What Ina Garten loves about this oven-cooked risotto recipe is that it sets the foundation for you to add in a variety of ingredients that make it your own. Truly, there's not much that doesn't go with creamy, cheesy risotto. In the video, she demonstrates adding frozen peas for a quick and easy vegetable addition, showing how they thaw and cook in the already warm risotto.

If you care to make your risotto more of a complete, protein-filled meal, there are many options to choose from. A simple fried egg is a quick protein addition to any vegetable-laden risotto. Even canned beans come in handy in a pinch. For meat lovers, slice up some Italian sausage or crumble sausage meat into a pan to brown up while your risotto cooks in the oven. Stir it into the risotto with your other ingredients, and you've made your easy oven-cooked risotto even more savory. With Ina Garten's method, risotto can now be an accessible, achievable weeknight meal instead of one that takes up too much time.

Read the original article on The Daily Meal