If you think your risotto making days departed with the arrival of your kids, then let me make your day with my no stir, oven baked risotto. This is seriously just as good as a regular, on-the-hob risotto.

The rich, smoky rice is complemented so nicely by the creamy goat's cheese topping. Replace the goat's cheese with feta or parmesan if preferred. There are lots of different flavoured sausages to choose from, or omit the sausage altogether for a vegetarian option. 

Serves: 4

1 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion
2 garlic cloves
1 red pepper
4 Toulouse pork sausages (or other dinner sausages)
1 tbsp smoked (or regular) paprika, optional
300g risotto rice
100ml red wine, optional (replace with stock if preferred)
400g can chopped tomatoes
500ml chicken or vegetable stock
150g soft, rindless goat's cheese log
Small handful fresh basil leaves

For the Salad:
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Juice ½ lemon
1 tsp Dijon mustard
100g mixed salad leaves
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 200C (fan 180C), 400F, Gas Mark 6.  

Heat the oil in a wide, shallow oven-proof sauté pan or casserole dish over a medium heat. Finely chop the onion, thinly slice the pepper and sauté together for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened.

Meanwhile, finely chop the garlic and remove the sausage meat from the casings.

Add the garlic, sausage meat and smoked paprika to the onions and fry for 2-3 minutes until the meat turns golden. Add the risotto rice and cook for 1 minute more. Turn up the heat and add the red wine (if using), stirring until absorbed. Stir in the tomatoes, 400ml of the stock and salt and pepper. Cover and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the rice is tender.

Meanwhile, to prepare the salad dressing, put the oil, lemon juice and mustard in a large bowl. Whisk together and season to taste. Toss the leaves through the dressing when ready to serve.

Remove the risotto from the oven and stir in the remaining 100ml of stock to loosen. Divide amongst serving plates, crumble the goat's cheese on top, scatter over the basil leaves and serve with the dressed salad.