Don’t get me wrong - there are times when I love stirring risotto. I find it so therapeutic. You may have the world on your shoulders but in that moment the only thing you have to focus on is gently stirring a bubbling pot rice. Preferably this is done with a glass of wine in hand, tea towel slung over my shoulder with music playing and the chatter of friends around me.

Stirring a risotto is a bit like stroking a dog, only you get a delicious end result in the form of a risotto.

Then there are other times. Times when I crave risotto, I want the rich unctuous-ness and comfort that only a risotto can bring but I don’t have time to give it the attention it needs. Too many other things are craving my attention and for better or worse, it’s the risotto that misses out.

But never fear! These are the times when the oven baked risotto can take centre stage.

Oh there will be naysayers who may tell you it can’t be done, and to them? Well I tell them they are wrong.

This is an easy no faff risotto you can make without all the stirring - you let the oven do the work and there’s nothing wrong with that.

25g dired porcini mushrooms

400ml boiling water

1 onion, peeled and chopped

4 cloves garlic, crushed

800ml stock - chicken or vegetable, up to you! This should be piping hot

500g mushrooms, mixture of portobello and chestnuts, sliced

400g risotto rice, arborio or carnoroli

20g parmesan, grated, plus extra to serve

120g butter

salt and pepper

handful of chopped parsley

Faff free oven baked mushroom risotto by Margie Nomura


Preheat the oven to 180c

Pour the boiling water over the dried mushrooms and let them rehydrate

Then gently fry the onion in a little butter and olive oil until soft, add 2 cloves of garlic and fry for another minute or so. Season well.

Strain the dried mushrooms which should have rehydrated by now. Save the mushroom stock and roughly chop the mushrooms. Add the mushrooms to the onions and then add the rice and stir well to coat. Gently fry the rice for a few minutes until the rice turns translucent. At this point you can add a good slug of white wine and let this bubble away for a few minutes until most of it is evaporated. If you don’t have white wine, dont stress.

Add the chicken or vegetable stock to the pan, and pour in the mushroom stock. Give it a good stir, bring to the boil, then pop a lid on and put in the oven. Cook for 10 minutes. Then remove the lid and cook for another 4 minutes.

Meanwhile fry the sliced mushrooms in batches. I like to use a mixture of butter and oil to fry them. Make sure you season them well and add the remixing crushed garlic.

When the time is up - most of the liquid should have been soaked up by the risotto rice, but the rice should still have a nice bite to it. Remove from the oven, and stir in the butter and parmesan and beat well with a wooden spoon to make sure the risotto is lovely and creamy.

Taste and check seasoning, stir in the chopped parsley and add more parmesan to serve.

All ready in less than 18 minutes and completely faff free!