Oven-Baked Asparagus and Parmesan Risotto
with pancetta / peas
Baking risotto in the oven is one of our favorite time-savers. The result is creamy and delicious rice without all the stovetop stirring of traditional risotto. Add pancetta, asparagus and pine nuts for color and crunch.
Asparagus and Parmesan Risotto:
- Cheese, parmesan - 2 oz , grated
- Garlic - 2 cloves , chopped
- Onions, medium - 1 , diced
- Pancetta - 4 oz , chopped (look for pre-chopped)
- Asparagus - 1 lb , chopped
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp
- Rice, Arborio - 1 cup
- Stock, any type - 3 1/2 cups
- Peas, frozen or fresh - 1 cup
- Butter (opt) - 1 Tbsp
- Lemon juice - 1 tsp
- Heat oven to 425F / 218C. Situate racks so that you can fit a saute pan or Dutch oven on the bottom rack and a sheet pan on the top rack.
- Heat an oven-safe saute pan or Dutch oven that has a lid over medium heat. Add first part of oil and then pancetta to heated oil. Saute until pancetta is crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Set pancetta aside and return pan to heat.
- If pan is dry, add a splash of oil. Add onions and saute until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in garlic and rice and saute until rice is lightly toasted and garlic is fragrant.
- Pour in stock and bring to a simmer.
- Cover and transfer to lower rack of oven. Bake until rice is cooked through, ~25 minutes.
- While rice cooks, spread asparagus out onto a sheet pan and toss with second part of oil and some salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 4 to 7 minutes (depending on thickness of asparagus). Time it so that it finishes the same time as the risotto.
- If using frozen peas, defrost in the microwave; if using fresh peas, cover with a damp paper towel and cook in the microwave until tender, 2 to 4 minutes.
- When risotto is done, stir in peas, butter (if using), lemon juice and roasted asparagus. Season to taste with some salt and pepper.
- Enjoy risotto with cheese and pancetta on top.