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Roasted Red Pepper Risotto

Updated February 23, 2016
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This is a great way to dress up a simple dinner or to handle unexpected guests. Pick up a rotisserie chicken or two or a vegetable stir-fry, and a precooked vegetable, such as asparagus vinaigrette. Make this risotto, open a bottle of wine and everyone will think you’re amazing.

You can make this recipe without presoaking the rice, but you’ll need to cook it for an extra 15 minutes and even then the result will be quite al dente and not as creamy. If you’re not presoaking the rice, don’t forget to add 1 cup (250 mL) water along with the stock.

Makes6 servings

CostModerate

Moderate

Total Timeunder 4 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe Coursemain course, side dish

Dietary Considerationmain course, side dish

Five Ingredients or LessYes

Mealdinner

Moodblue, romantic

Taste and Texturecheesy, creamy, rich, savory, spiced, winey

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (250 mL) short-grain brown rice
  • 1 cup (250 mL) water
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) diced pancetta, optional
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) sweet or hot paprika
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup (125 mL) dry white wine or additional stock
  • 1½ cups (375 mL) reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
  • ¾ cup (175 mL) diced roasted red peppers (about 2)
  • 2 tbsp (50 mL) freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

In a bowl, combine rice and water. Stir well. Cover and set aside for at least 3 hours or overnight. Drain, reserving liquid (see Notes).

In a heavy saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, heat oil over medium heat for 30 seconds. Add onion and pancetta, if using, and cook, stirring, until onion softens, about 3 minutes. Add paprika and black pepper and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add wine and cook, stirring, until liquid evaporates, about 5 minutes. Add stock and reserved soaking liquid and bring to a boil. Stir in rice and return to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 35 minutes.

Stir in red pepper. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan. Serve immediately.

Variations

Risotto with Cabbage: Substitute 2 cups (500 mL) thinly shredded cabbage (preferably Savoy) for the roasted red peppers and ½ tsp (2 mL) dried thyme leaves for the paprika.

Smoked Cheese Risotto: Omit pancetta, paprika and roasted red peppers. Add 2 cloves minced garlic, along with the onion. After the rice is tender (Step 3), stir in 1 cup (250 mL) shredded smoked Gouda or mozzarella until melted, then add Parmesan.

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