Risotto. Quite possibly the world’s most perfect meal, and one of my absolute favorite things to cook. I love how the simple grains of rice come together to create a creamy, indulgent dish of loveliness. It’s very satisfying.
I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I love risotto not only for its flavor, but also for its versatility. Once you’ve mastered the basic method, the possibilities are endless. I’ve made a ham and sugar snap pea risotto, fresh mozzarella and tomato risotto, even a mushroom and shallot risotto using red wine rather than white. It’s definitely a recipe that’s fun to play around with.
Hidden amongst my embarrassingly large pile of recipes torn out of magazines was this risotto recipe from Bon Appetit. You’ll find leeks in many risotto recipes, but this was the first time I’d ever seen bacon. I knew I had to try it.
Bacon and Leek Risotto (serves six)
From Bon Appetit
What you need:
- 5 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 slices thick-cut bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 cups thinly sliced leeks (white and pale green parts only)
- 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
- 3/4 cup dry white wine
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley, plus more for garnish
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
- Bring broth to simmer in medium saucepan; cover to keep warm.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in heavy large skillet (or saucepan) over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until crisp, stirring occasionally. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain.
- Add leeks to drippings in pan; cook until soft but not brown, stirring often, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer 2 generous tablespoonfuls leeks to small bowl; reserve for garnish.
- Add rice to pan; stir 1 to 2 minutes. Add wine; stir until absorbed, about 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup warm broth to saucepan; stir until broth is absorbed. Repeat adding broth and stirring until rice is tender but still firm to bite and sauce is creamy, stirring almost constantly, about 23 minutes total.
- Add bacon, chopped parsley, butter, and 2 tablespoons cheese. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Divide risotto among 6 bowls. Top risotto in each bowl with chopped parsley, additional cheese, reserved leeks and freshly cracked pepper.