Thursday, March 22, 2018

Ina Garten's Parmesan & Pea Risotto

I adore risotto--it's creamy, comforting, and there is something about standing at the stove stirring it, ladling in broth and watching it transform from the hard grains of rice to something delicious. some people find the stirring tedious but I like to take the time to think, or listen to music or an audio book and just wind down and wait for the deliciousness to happen.

I was looking for an Ina Garten risotto to make (I've made her Butternut Squash Risotto and her Chive Risotto Cakes and enjoyed both recipes) and wanted something simple so when I saw "Easy Parmesan Risotto" I was all in. It was only later as I was headed to make it when I saw that the 'easy' part was that it bakes in the oven. That's just not risotto to me, so I used the same basic ingredients but made it on my stove top, audiobook on, wooden stirring spoon in hand. My changes are in red below.

Easy Parmesan Risotto
Adapted from How Easy Is That? by Ina Garten via 
(Serves 4 to 6)
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
5 cups simmering chicken stock, preferably homemade (I used vegan chicken  stock)
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, diced (I used 2 Tbsp)
(I added 1 Tbsp dried parsley)
2 tsp kosher salt, or to taste (I used a scant 1 tsp sea salt)
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
(I garnished with chopped fresh chives)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the rice and 4 cups of the chicken stock in a Dutch oven, such as Le Creuset. Cover and bake for 45 minutes, until most of the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente. 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. Add the peas and stir until heated through. Serve hot.

Stove top: Heat the stock in a small saucepan. Leave it on low heat to simmer. In a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and add the rice and stir to coat the grains with butter. Add the white wine and cook for 2 minutes. Add 2 full ladles of stock to the rice  Stir, and simmer until the stock is absorbed, 5 to 10 minutes. 

Continue to add the stock, a ladle at a time, stirring every few minutes. Each time, cook until the mixture seems a little dry, then add more stock. Continue until the rice is cooked through, but still al dente, about 30 minutes total. Remove risotto from the heat and stir in the peas, Parmesan, and salt and pepper to taste. 

Serve hot, garnished with fresh chives and more freshly ground black pepper.

Notes/Results: Sometimes simple is best and in this case, the Parmesan and peas are perfect in the creamy rice for a simple weeknight comfort food dinner. I think you get a superior texture in stove top risotto but if you don't like the stirring, I am sure than Ina's oven version has it own merits. Do watch the salt--since you are using broth that may be salted and Parmesan that it salty. I cut it back by half--an that was using a low-sodium mock chicken stock. I enjoyed this with a glass of the white wine that I used in it and would happily make it again.

Linking up to I Heart Cooking Clubs where this week's theme is "Ina in Italy"--where we are cooking up Ina's many tasty Italian recipes. 

Also linking up at the Weekend Cooking event at Beth Fish Reads, a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. For more information, see the welcome post.


  1. I like risotto too, but don't make it enough. About stirring, it depends it can be a nuisance - but I only ever make risotto when I want to unwind and chill in the kitchen.

  2. I'm with Shaheen. Risotto is definitely a reflective dish. Stir and sip :)

  3. I have a very varied track record with risotto - my next endeavour is to do my own pasta - then I might go back to risotto. Cheers from Carole's chatter

  4. I've never tried making risotto. It always seemed to difficult for me. But, it looks delicious.

  5. Risotto is one of those dishes I cannot resist! I love it. I've never tried to bake it (though I trust Ina); on the other hand, when I'm feeling lazy, I make it in my pressure cooker.

  6. I've made risotto once and have ordered it on an Italian cruise ship. I like it but I keep thinking of all the carbs when I eat it. The recipe looks delicous

  7. I've seen this recipe in Ina's cookbook, but I haven't yet tried it. I love risotto and peas, so this is one I must make soon.

  8. I would say that Ina is very heavy handed in her salt. This looks delicious, I have not been brave enough to make risotto before. I may need to try as I have all the ingredients on hand.

  9. Wish I had a bowl of that risotto right now!

  10. That looks delicious, Deb! So creamy and perfect for spring with peas in it. I agree, stirring is the only way to go. No oven risotto for me.


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