Saturday, October 17, 2009

Oven Baked Risotto....Thanks Mary

I was reading my friend Mary's blog the other day and she inspired me to make oven baked risotto that very night. She served hers with Tyler's Chicken Marsala and so did I. I decided to do an adaptation of the recipe that Mary posted. I had some butternut squash that needed to be used and some pancetta and some beautiful tiny sage leaves out on my deck. It was a great thank you so much Mary and your beautiful blog, ONCE UPON A PLATE for your "Divine Inspiration". If you have never visited Mary you are in for a treat when you do!

Baked Risotto:Pancetta, Sweet Potato and Sage
adapted from Donna Hay


400g (14 oz) sweet potato (kumara), chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons olive oil, extra
4 slices pancetta 40g (1 1/2 oz) unsalted butter
1/4 cup torn sage leaves
1 1/2 cups arborio (or risotto) rice
4 1/2 cups (36 fl oz) chicken stock
1 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
Sea salt and cracked black pepper
Unsalted butter for drizzling


Preheat the oven to 180 Degrees C (355 Degrees F). Place the sweet potato and oil on a baking tray and toss to coat. Cook for 25 minutes or until golden and tender. Set aside.

Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add the extra oil and pancetta and cook for 2-3 minutes until crispy. Set aside.

Melt the butter in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add the sage and cook for 1-2 minutes or until crispy. Set aside.

Place the rice and stock in a 22 x 30cm (8 1/2 x 12 in) 10-cup (80 fl oz) capacity baking dish and stir to combine. Cover tightly with foil and cook for 40 minutes or until most of the stock is absorbed and the rice is al dente.

Add the parmesan, salt, pepper, sweet potato and pancetta and stir to combine. Top with sage, drizzle with butter and serve immediately.

*my notes: I had half of a small butternut squash leftover that needed to be used ,so I peeled and cubed that and roasted it with a little bit of olive oil and salt and pepper in a 350* oven until it was soft and slightly caramelized. I set that aside until the rice was done.

I sauteed about 2 ounces of pancetta that I had diced in a bit of olive oil and then added one big shallot finely diced. When the shallot was soft I added the rice and sauteed the rice until it became white and chalky. The I added about 1/2 cup of dry white wine and stirred until the wine was absorbed , I added 3 1/2 cups of chicken stock stirred and put it in the oven at 350*. I used a 5 qt.Le Creuset that was covered. I opened the pot several times to stir and check on the liquid and I added some more broth. So in the end it was probably close to what the recipe suggests. While the
rice was cooking I used about 2 Tablespoons of unsalted butter and sauteed whole sage leaves in the butter until they were crisp.
I set the butter and the sage aside.

When the rice was done I stirred in the cheese, the squash, and and poured the browned butter and sage leaves into the risotto.
It was done in about 35 minutes.

The method comes out much less "al dente" than a hand stirred risotto...which I love and find very comforting to make.You may need to check it during baking and see if it is getting too dry and just add some more broth accordingly. This is a great method for a busy night when dinner needs to get on the table. I had this entire dinner prepared and served in 45 minutes...

Chicken Marsala
adapted from Tyler Florence
4 skinless, boneless, chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
All-purpose flour, for dredging
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 ounces prosciutto, thinly sliced
8 ounces crimini or porcini mushrooms, stemmed and halved
1/2 cup sweet Marsala wine
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

Put the chicken breasts side by side on a cutting board and lay a piece of plastic wrap over them; pound with a flat meat mallet, until they are about 1/4-inch thick. Put some flour in a shallow platter and season with a fair amount of salt and pepper; mix with a fork to distribute evenly.
Heat the oil over medium-high flame in a large skillet. When the oil is nice and hot, dredge both sides of the chicken cutlets in the seasoned flour, shaking off the excess. Slip the cutlets into the pan and fry for 5 minutes on each side until golden, turning once – do this in batches if the pieces don't fit comfortably in the pan. Remove the chicken to a large platter in a single layer to keep warm.

Lower the heat to medium and add the prosciutto to the drippings in the pan, saute for 1 minute to render out some of the fat. Now, add the mushrooms and saute until they are nicely browned and their moisture has evaporated, about 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Pour the Marsala in the pan and boil down for a few seconds to cook out the alcohol. Add the chicken stock and simmer for a minute to reduce the sauce slightly. Stir in the butter and return the chicken to the pan; simmer gently for 1 minute to heat the chicken through. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with chopped parsley before serving.

My notes: I left out the prosciutto...well because I forget to buy it and I also used pancetta in the risotto. I also used a dry Marsala wine from Italy. I used Wondra flour for dredging the chicken.
And Baby Bella mushrooms.


  1. Linda, It looks like we both were inspired by Mary's Baked Risotto. I added Prawns for a main course dish. I like your additions. The perfect side dish to your Chicken Marsala.

  2. The first thing I thought about when I saw her pot of Risotto was adding shrimp...
    I used what I had in the house this time i will try it with the shrimp!

  3. I have to try this. Who doesn't love risotto, and oven baked at that! Great one, Linda :) And I'm sending get well wishes your way. Hugs and take care! Ju

  4. I'm so in need of a 'comfort meal' tonight!! I woke up with a wicked sore throat, and I think this risotto would be perfect. Yours looks so creamy and flavorful (as did Mari's and Ann's). You've helped me decide what I'm making for dinner - thank you, Linda!!

  5. Yikes you girls are pushing me towards the oven:) Jacques makes ours and makes it to a "T"..dare I make him give up his treat to me?

    It looks great ladies!!

  6. Linda, I love risotto... and oven baked. what a good idea. Have a wonderful weekend.

  7. Linda.......that looks so good, tasty, yummy and colourful. I'll have to try this soon. I've really never done rissotto before.
    Great pictures also...... Hope you are feeling better. :-)

  8. Feel better soon my friend!

    I love this version that you have shared, Linda. I want to try it soon.

    The second time I made it baked, I did exactly what you described (stirred and added more liquid during the bake time), it turned out much more like traditional risotto that way. Your photos are so beautiful!

    Your and Ann's idea of adding prawns would be fantastic as well. Yum!!


  9. Thank you Mary....
    I even think that I could have baked it for less time since i sauteed the rice in with the pancetta, etc.
    It was really nice though....and great for a week night...
    I want to check out the Martha Stewart recipe for baked risotto...

  10. You've been invited! Come celebrate your home with us in "Show off your cottage Monday"!


  11. What a wonderful dinner...true comfort food. I would love the butternut squash added to baked risotto. It's difficult to choose between the chicken and prawns. Both sound heavenly.