What to CookRisotto

Baked Pasta Risotto with Peas, Mascarpone + Spinach

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Every week, Caroline Wright creates simple, civilized recipes for Food52 that feed four -- for under $20, in under 20 minutes.

Today: A quick springtime risotto -- that isn't really risotto at all.

Spinach risotto from Food52

This risotto isn’t a risotto at all, even though it conjures the same warmth and fullness of the creamiest bowls of rice I’ve had. As I was flipping through Sarah Copeland’s new vegetarian cookbook Feast, I was inspired by her spread of baked risottos and her reminder that it is indeed a fast food -- especially when adapted to be a bit faster here, by swapping pasta for grains. The best part is -- in certain agreement with Sarah and her options for risotto “toppers” -- that the flavors in this recipe can be tweaked as the seasons and your tastes change. Stick with the method and let your market inspire you.

Baked Pasta Risotto with Peas, Mascarpone + Spinach

Serves 4

2 tablespoons butter
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 cup ancini de pepe, Israeli couscous, or orzo
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups warmed chicken or vegetable broth
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 bunch fresh spinach, stems trimmed
1 cup peas (frozen and thawed)
1/4 cup mascarpone
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

As a freelance food writer and cook, I first wrote this style of recipe as a column on my blog, The Wright Recipes, as an excuse to cook good food for my friends in a quick and simple way. 

Twenty-Dollar, Twenty-Minute™ Meals grew into a cookbook that was published by Workman in May 2013. The recipes found here are original, made especially for Food52 to once again celebrate simple food with friends.

Photo by Caroline Wright

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Automagic Spring Menu Maker!

Tags: Pasta, Spinach, Spring, Weeknight Cooking, On the Cheap, Dinner, Faster, Everyday Cooking