Quick Weeknight No Fuss "Risotto" Dinner

I love making risotto the old fashioned add broth-stir-add broth-stir-add broth-stir way.  (Click here for a link to a previous post on making wild mushroom truffled risotto using the traditional method.)  If I have all the time in the world, or when cooking for guests, I would cook risotto no other way.  But, (now that school is back in session!) during the workweek, I do cheat on a risotto-like rice dish from a recipe I got out of Food & Wine Quick from Scratch One-Dish Meals Cookbook.

The beautiful thing about “Rice with Mozzarella, Prosciutto, and Peas” is that you can do all of your prep work WHILE the water comes to a boil and the rice cooks.  Then, all you do is add the rest of the ingredients.  Presto!

Here’s a link to the recipe online, or you can also follow these steps (all credit goes to Food & Wine!):

·      Bring a pot of water to boil.  While that is happening, get together 1½ cup of risotto rice (Arborio, Carnaroli, whatever you have around for risotto) and take out to defrost ½ cup of frozen peas.

·      Once water comes to boil, throw some salt in it (and watch it go poof!), and then the risotto rice and put the timer on for 15 minutes.

·      While rice is cooking, prep the rest of the items: In one bowl, grate ½ cup of Parmegiano-Reggiano or Pecorino-Romano, add 3 tablespoons butter, 3-4 tablespoons chopped parsley, and ½ teaspoon salt.

·      On your cutting board, cut into strips 3-4 ounces of prosciutto (to taste) and grate or chop up a large ball of buffalo mozzarella or burrata (about 5-6 ounces) or 3 small burratas (2 ounces each).  (Note: We used the burrata for our last recipe and enjoyed the way the extra bit of creaminess helped make the dish more risotto-like in consistency.)

·      Once your 15-minute timer goes off, dump in the now-almost defrosted frozen peas and let the mixture just come back to boil.  Then drain everything and the put the peas and rice back in the same pot and place over a very low heat.

Stir in everything from the bowl and the cutting boards, let cheese melt and prosciutto slices separate, and then dinner is ready.  Enjoy all that cheese-gooey goodness!


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