Risotto is a fabulous comforting one pot meal, but it requires much love and attention – the constant stirring to give it that gorgeous creamy quality. So when you’ve got a demented toddler wielding a light sabre and indiscriminately bashing the living daylights out of the TV, the dog and his big brother you kind of need a dinner that’ll cook itself.
I’d heard people talk about risottos that you could just whack in the oven, but never quite believed it could work. So I hunted out a recipe on the brilliant Sainsbury’s website to try it for myself.
The recipe I found is pitched at students as it’s budget friendly and requires little attention. That’s a nice way of saying cheap and lazy! This totally works for frazzled parents who are trying to eek out their weekly shop – you can find most of the ingrendients for this recipe lurking in your cupboards and fridge/freezer. Obviously we’re not a lazy crowd us mums and dads… but time is rarely on our side so any shortcuts are genius in my book.
Lazy risotto (Sainsbury’s website)
200g of chopped bacon, with the fat removed
1 peeled and finely chopped onion
200g Arborio rice
3 tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 vegetable stock cube (I used a low-sodium brand)
100g garden peas
- Fry the bacon in a large pan without oil for 5–10 minutes until crisp. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in the pan, then add 1 peeled and finely chopped onion and fry for 5 minutes until soft. Add the arborio rice and the roughly chopped tomatoes and cook, stirring continuously, for 2–3 minutes.
- Make up 700ml vegetable stock, using the stock cube, and pour 500ml over the rice mixture. Add the cooked bacon and stir through. Bring to the boil, then transfer to a 2-litre baking dish and bake in a preheated oven at 150°C, fan 130°C, gas 2 for 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and stir. Increase the oven temperature to 170°C, fan 150°C,gas 3 1/2 add some garden peas and the remaining stock, and return to the oven for 20 minutes.
- Stir through some parsley, top with parmesan shavings and serve.
My risotto took a bit longer to cook than the recipe stated, so check if the rice is done properly. I ended up putting mine back in for another 10 minutes.
The texture isn’t as creamy as a risotto that you labour over, but it’s a tasty, easy-to-eat dish that went down well with the entire family. It’s not the sort of recipe you’d choose to dazzle dinner guests – but it’s a great weeknight supper if you’re short on time and cash! Who’d have thought that students and frazzled parents had so much in common…