Don’t stand and stir your risotto – stick it in the oven.
I don’t mind admitting that I am an inherently lazy person so a baked risotto has always appealed to me more than a traditional one. However I’ve never gotten round to actually making one until now.
The traditional Mediterranean ingredients of chorizo, sun-dried tomatoes and black olives really give this risotto punchy flavours in each bite. The broccolini brightens up the whole dish and adds a different texture as well.
I prefer my risotto to be on the drier side but, if you like the creamy style, you can add an extra 1/2 cup of water to the rice before baking. Then at the point when you add the broccolini you can add a little more water to adjust the texture to your liking.
I used my 5 litre/quart cast iron ‘french’ pan to make this. If you don’t have a cast iron pan then you can use any large flameproof, ovenproof dish – you may need to increase the cooking time by a few minutes as cast iron conducts heat more efficiently than a lot of other materials.
Ingredients – serves 4:
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 leek, finely chopped
- 1 chorizo sausage, finely sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 cups arborio (risotto) rice
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 chicken stock cubes (I used chicken Oxo cubes)
- 6 cups boiling water
- 8 sun-dried tomatoes, finely sliced
- 1/4 cup sliced black olives
- small bunch broccolini, stalks removed
- 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan, plus extra to serve
- freshly ground black pepper, to serve
- fresh parsley leaves, optional, to serve
- Heat your oven to 180C/160C fan forced/350F.
- Put the oil into your large cast iron pan and place over a medium heat on the stovetop. Add the leek and chorizo then cook for a couple of minutes, until the chorizo just starts to colour.
- Add the garlic, oregano, rice and lemon juice then stir well.
- In a large jug, mix the chicken stock cubes with 5 and 1/2 cups of boiling water.
- Add the liquid to the pan and stir.
- Turn off the stovetop and carefully transfer the pan to the oven. Cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Most of the liquid should have been absorbed by the rice at this point.
- Remove from the oven and add the remaining 1/2 cup of boiling water (or more if required to get the texture of risotto that you want). Stir then add the sun-dried tomatoes, black olives, broccolini and parmesan. Return to the oven for another 5-8 minutes or until the rice is cooked to your liking.
- Remove from the oven and leave to sit for 5 minutes before serving topped with extra parmesan, a good grinding of black pepper, plus fresh parsley leaves, if using.