Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Dinner that cooks itself: Donna Hay Baked Mushroom, Bacon and Spinach Risotto

I LOVE any dinner that can be thrown in the oven and forgotten about until it's time to eat.  This recipe is a favourite in our house, there is a little bit of prep on the stove and then it all goes in the oven.  Recipe following below if you want to skip over my tips. 

My tips for streamlining this dish:

1) I ask my butcher to take the rind of the bacon and roughly chop it up for me so I don't have to do that part.  (I also ring him when I'm around the corner from his shop and get him to deliver my order to my car as I go past the back door.  One less 'in and out' involving a child and a car seat!).  Gotta love good old fashioned service.

2) Make sure you use Aborio rice, may be an obvious statement if you're a seasoned cook.  I'm not the best of cooks and I did try substituting normal rice once.  It works but takes longer to cook and the result is not as nice as a proper risotto.

3) We have a big 'stove to oven' pan with a lid that I use for this recipe.  If you have one I recommend using it as there is less clean up and saves time transferring ingredients to an oven dish. 

4) I shared this recipe with a girlfriend who is a great cook.  She uses porcini mushrooms and I think she said gruyere cheese... it takes it up a notch in terms of flavour.  If I don't use these ingredients, I use a good amount of salt to season at the end.

The recipe - Donna Hay – Baked Mushroom, Bacon & Spinach Risotto

Serves 4

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
300g button mushrooms, roughly chopped
4 rashers bacon, rind removed, roughly chopped
1.5 cups Arborio rice
5 cups chicken stock
2 big handfuls of spinach leaves
1 cup finely grated parmesan
2 tablespoons butter
sea salt and cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 180°C.
Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat.
Add garlic, mushrooms and bacon and cook for 5 minutes/ until browned.
Place in a ovenproof dish with the rice and stock, stir to combine. Cover with lid/ aluminum foil
Bake for 40 minutes or until most of the stock is absorbed and rice is al dente.
Stir through the spinach, parmesan, butter, salt and pepper.

You can also see this recipe on the DH website.


  1. Yum! Tonight's dinner sorted. Hope you are feeling better and that the countdown to bub 2 is going well. Lisa x

  2. Thanks Lisa. With you included there ended up being 4 or 5 people putting this on the menu! It is a good one.

  3. Am trying this out tonight.... it looks like a winner! Thanks for the recipe - YUM!

  4. I loved this and am adding to my new fortnightly menu! Never been so regimented but am trying this approach as a budget and sanity saver! Will think of you every 2 weeks :-)



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