Baked Tomato Risotto

I just love a good creamy risotto. 'Risotto' is style of cooking rice so that it is more creamy. The creamy happens because the rice is cooked in some type of broth and it releases starches making the entire dish thicken and become creamy. Long grain rice doesn't work so well for this. Short grained rice, particularly Arborio rice is the best. SO if you wanted to make a simple pot of arborio rice, you simmer some rice and veggie or meat broth and stir and stir adding more broth with the liquid is absorbed until rice is tender! Do it with a wooden spoon. The texture of the wood helps to rub the rice and release more starch, making more creamy deliciousnesses going on. That simple creamy rice is perfect. 

Now that you have the gist of what arborio rice is it's marriage to risotto.. here is one of my favorite risottos. It is simple and fast and only a tiny bit of mixing going on compared to more risotto recipes.
 To start, wash your squash and cut length wise and then in slices. Then Chop chop.

Combine with marinara sauce, chicken/veggie broth and rice in a greased casserole dish.  

Pop it in the oven at 350 covered. After 30 minutes, stir in 1 cup of the Mozzarella cheese. Bake another 20 minutes. Uncover top with remaining cheese and bake another 10 minutes uncovered. If you want a skinny version, half the cheese or simple get rid of it. The cheese is not necessary but is dern good. Isn't that always the way cheese is?! If something is lacking.. sprinkle a lil cheese and bam. Perfect. Bam... my thighs! not so perfect. 

Baked Tomato Risotto
2 medium zucchini or yellow sqaush
1 (28 oz) jar spaghetti sauce
1 can (14 oz) chicken broth
1 can (4 oz) mushroom slices
1 cup Arborio Rice
2 cups (8 oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese
Cut zucchini length wise in half then in slices. Combine with spaghetti sauce, broth, mushrooms and rice in a sprayed 3 qrt. dish. Bake covered for 30 mins at 350 degs. Remove from oven and stir in 1 cup of cheese. Cover and bake for another 30 mins. Remove from oven, top with cheese and place back in over for 5-10 mins to melt cheese and until rice is tender.

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