Tonight's Dinner: Baked risotto with sausage and artichokes
If you like risotto but don't like standing over a stove for hours adding and stirring broth, try baking it in the oven—you'll get the same delicious meal without the aching back.
Risotto is one of those great dishes that's good any time of the year. You can lighten it up with some spring vegetables or make it heartier by adding a protein like shrimp or beef.
Risotto is a family favorite, but I hate how long it takes to make: standing over the stove stirring the broth into the rice until it's soaked up, then adding more broth, on and on for 30 minutes to an hour. Sure, the dish always turns out and everyone's always clamoring for seconds, but the time it takes can wear me out.
You can imagine how happy I was to discover a risotto recipe where the rice was baked in the oven instead of cooked on the stove. Where did I find this saving grace? Better Homes and Gardens of course, and I'm so happy I did.
Instead of standing over the stove for an hour, I simply cooked the meat and brought the broth to a boil, then poured everything into a baking dish and cooked it in the oven for an hour. That gave me an extra hour to get the table set and play with my son. Anytime I find a recipe that allows me extra play time, that's a recipe that will be used often.
Baked Risotto with Sausage and Artichokes
- 1 pound bulk sausage (Jimmy Dean is good)
- 1 cup chopped fennel
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3/4 cup arborio rice
- 1, 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained
- 1 cup shredded carrot
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1/3 cup white wine
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large skillet, combine sausage, fennel, onion, and garlic; cook over medium-high heat until meat is brown and vegetables are tender; drain fat; add uncooked rice to meat mixture in skillet and cook for another minute.
- Add artichoke hearts, carrots, thyme, and pepper; stir in broth and wine; bring just to boiling; transfer to an ungreased 3-quart casserole dish; bake covered about 1 hour, or until rice is tender, stirring once.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine panko, Parmesan cheese, and butter; remove cover and top casserole with crumb mixture; bake uncovered, for 10 more minutes; let stand 5 minutes before serving. Spoon into individual bowls and garnish with Parmesan cheese.