Panini Girl

My obsessions-Italy and Cooking

December 21, 2009


Getting To Know Your Neighbor

About a year ago our neighbors moved away and we worried about who would move in. A nice young family was there for a few months as renters and in the spring they too moved on. Once again we were apprehensive as to who would live there. The property was sold and we were thrilled when we finally met the great couple who were the new owners. I’ve passed cookies and a few other things over the fence to them during the past few months, but we’ve really wanted to have them over for dinner. Being that it’s a only a few days until Christmas and we haven’t done much entertaining, I thought a simple Sunday supper would be the perfect chance to get together.

I’m keeping the menu simple as I wanted to spend the day doing a whole lot of nothing! I just popped the entree into the oven and the starters are a French cheese and pate-couldn’t be easier! I’m sharing a recipe that I’ve been making for years for a baked risotto dish. Its the perfect accompaniment to our roasted chicken with fennel and is another no stress dish.

Baked Risotto with Spinach and Parmigiano

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, minced
Kosher salt to taste
1 cup Arborio rice
2 cups chicken stock
4 cups loosely packed fresh spinach leaves, dried and chopped
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a 1-1/2 quart saucepan combine the oil, onion and salt over medium heat. Stir to coat with the oil and saute until the onion is translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the rice, stirring to coat with oil. Add the chicken stock, spinach and nutmeg and a little salt and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Stir in half of the cheese. Transfer to a 1 quart souffle dish and smooth top. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

Place the dish in oven and bake until the rice is cooked through and has absorbed most of the liquid, about 25-30 minutes. The baked rice should be moist, but not soupy. Serve immediately. Serves: 4


2 thoughts on “Getting To Know Your Neighbor

  1. I’ve never done a risotto in the oven like this but it sounds like a great idea that I will try.

  2. Me too! It sounds warm and comforting. Your neighbors are lucky to have you next door!

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