Pea and Bacon Risotto

by Liz on July 1, 2010

Pea and Bacon Risotto

10 o’clock at night is not the most convenient time to want risotto, especially after getting home from a long day of standing on my feet at work.  If I am going to stand up for another half hour, then I want to make something worth the extra effort.  This does not disappoint.

risotto beginnings risotto beginnings

I have heard rumors that people get freaked out by making risotto.  I know I certainly have.  Maybe it was that one time I was watching Mario Batali make it, and he put such high expectations on making it and not messing it up that it was a long time before I got up the courage to do it myself.  Whether or not this risotto is Mario Batali quality is not the point. The point is that if you make this, you will be so glad you did, because it’s simply delicious. Not to mention it’s highly likely you’ll already have all the ingredients.

lemon zest grated parmesan
Risotto almost done! Pea and Bacon Risotto

Pea and Bacon Risotto
Adapted from Gourmet

The only adjustments I made were to double the recipe and to use more bacon. Because in the case of bacon, more is always better.

Serves 2

3 1/2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
4 slices bacon
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2/3 cup Arborio rice
2/3 cup frozen peas
4 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Bring broth and water to a simmer in a small saucepan.

Cook bacon in a small heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring, until crisp. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a paper towel to drain. When it cools enough to touch, break it up into small pieces.

Add garlic to bacon fat in pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until pale golden, about 15-30 seconds. Add rice, stirring to coat.

Add 1/4 cup hot broth mixture and simmer briskly, stirring constantly, until broth is absorbed. Continue simmering and adding hot broth mixture, about 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently and letting each addition be absorbed before adding the next, until rice is just tender and creamy-looking but still al dente, 18 to 25 minutes. (Reserve leftover broth mixture.)

Add peas and cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes.

Stir in cheese, butter, zest, and juice. Thin risotto with some of reserved broth mixture if desired and season with salt and pepper. Top with bacon.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Liz July 2, 2010 at 2:35 pm

The original was single serving, my version is doubled. I don’t get too annoyed by single serving recipes, especially since there aren’t too many of them anyway. Also, leftover risotto is never as good as when it’s just been made, unless you do like I do, and make little risotto cakes/fritters out of them, which I do.

Kelly K July 2, 2010 at 12:33 pm

Mm, more bacon! Yes!

Farrah Thrush July 2, 2010 at 10:48 am

we are going to give this a try this weekend… Looks delicious!

jenni July 2, 2010 at 7:44 am

So this was originally a single-serving recipe? Or you doubled the recipe when you made it but left it intact on the blog? Single serving recipes kind of piss me off. Even if you’re just cooking for one, why not double it and have some leftovers so you don’t have to cook for every single meal?

Liz July 1, 2010 at 11:57 pm

Dear self: please remember to edit out weird black specks on the rice next time.

Jenni, 2 servings. Will edit.

carolyn July 1, 2010 at 11:08 pm

oooh that looks amazing.

jenni July 1, 2010 at 10:07 pm

How many servings did this make? It looks really good!

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