Creamy risotto with bacon and cheese
Risotto is a classic Italian favorite prepared with rice cooked in a broth to a creamy consistency. Normally served as a main course, risotto can be either simple and innovative or elaborate and exotic. The broth used for risotto can be of meat, fish or vegetables blended smoothly with Parmesan cheese, butter, onion and other condiments. One of the staple diets of an Italian household, risotto is a nutritious delicacy.
The history of risotto dates back to the 14th century BC, when Arabs during their tenure brought rice to Sicily and Spain. As the key ingredient of risotto is rice, there are some selected varieties and a standard method that needs to be followed for making the perfect risotto. The basic qualities of risotto rice are high-starch, round, medium or short- grained. Italy, due to its humid weather and abundant flat land, became the model place to grow short-grain rice. The chief variations of rice that are widely used in Italy for risotto are Arborio, Vialone Nano and Carnaroli. Their ability to absorb more liquid to release starch makes them sticker and a perfect component of a creamy risotto. Read on to know how to cook creamy risotto with bacon and cheese to leave your mouth filled with flavors.
Complexity level: Medium
Time taken: 40-45 minutes
- 300g risotto rice
- 1 onion, chopped
- 6 strips bacon, cut
- Chicken stock
- 1/3 cup white or red wine, pre-warmed
- 100g frozen peas
- 100 g of mushrooms
- 50 g broccoli
- 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- Unsalted butter, 4tbs
- 1 cup heavy cream (optional)
- 2-3 pods of garlic (optional)
- Â½ teaspoon of pepper powder
- Â½ teaspoon of chili flakes
- Â½ teaspoon of oregano
- Salt to taste
1. Finely chop onions and keep aside. Cut the bacon strips in equal size. Now in a large pan heat 2 tablespoon of olive oil. Use extra virgin olive oil for best results. Add a dollop of unsalted butter to it. Now fry the chopped onions till mild brown. Add some mushrooms, broccoli and peas. Add bacon to the mixture.
2. Now add the risotto rice in the pan. Stir the mixture all the ingredients constantly to avoid sticking at the base. Then pour 1/3 cup of white or red wine that was pre-warmed and kept aside. Once the wine has dispersed, add some chicken broth. Add salt according to your taste.
3. Constantly stir the mixture. When the broth evaporates add some more stock to it. Keep adding the stock until the rice becomes tender and the risotto takes a creamy, smooth appearance.
5. Finally, finish off with some grated Parmesan cheese and a dollop of butter in the end. Sprinkle some condiments such as chili flakes, oregano and freshly grounded pepper according to your taste.
6. Cover the lid and allow it to rest. Serve hot.
For a richer and creamier risotto, pour in a cup of heavy cream in addition to the butter. If you like the flavor of garlic, add 2-3 pods of chopped garlic when frying the onions. This will enhance the taste of your risotto.