This simple recipe serves up a soothing plate of Bacon and Pea risotto with all of the flavour but a lot less stirring!
Risotto is one of my all-time favourite dinner recipes. It’s what I like to cook when it’s cold outside or I just feel that I need something soothing and comforting to eat.
Risotto isn’t just comforting to eat, I find that it’s comforting to cook as well. I’ve made risotto so often that I don’t even think about the recipe any more. I simply chop, ladle and stir as if on autopilot.
Sometimes I don’t want to stand and stir for 30 minutes, but still need that creamy, comforting risotto. This easy Bacon and Pea Risotto means I can serve up a soothing plateful for dinner, but with a whole lot less effort.
It won’t have quite the same creaminess of a ‘proper’ risotto, but sometimes the trade-off is worth it!
You do really need to use a short-grain rice for risotto, as a long grain rice won’t give you the creamy texture that you’re looking for. I haven’t specified a particular type of risotto rice here, but most supermarkets stock Arborio.
I’ve also suggested making up 1 litre of stock (from a stock cube is fine) because although you probably won’t use it all, you’ll need more than 500ml and it’s better to have too much than run out.
And while this recipe is for two servings, it’s easy enough to double the recipe if you are cooking for four. If you’re only cooking for one, the leftover risotto will warm up easily or alternatively you could use it to make arancini (recipe on the way!).
A soothing plate of risotto without all the stirring!
- 1 litre hot chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 tbsp oil rapeseed, sunflower or light olive
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 100 g streaky bacon or pancetta finely diced
- 150 g risotto rice
- 150 ml dry white wine optional
- 80 g frozen peas
- 1 tbsp butter
- Parmesan cheese finely grated, to taste
Make up the stock and keep it in a jug near you.
Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat, add the diced onion and fry gently until translucent for 3-4 minutes.
Add the bacon or pancetta and cook for a further 2-3 minutes until some of the fat has been rendered out.
Stir in the risotto rice and cook for 2-3 minutes over a medium heat until the edges of each grain of rice have turned slightly translucent.
Pour in the wine if you're using it, or 150ml of hot stock and stir until it has all been absorbed by the rice.
Now add another 150ml of the stock, stir well and leave to bubble away over a medium/low heat until the stock has been absorbed by the rice. It will take around 6-8 minutes so if you get chance, give it a quick stir from time to time.
Add another 150ml of the stock and again, leave it to cook for another 6-8 minutes, stirring it every so often to check that nothing is sticking and to make the risotto creamier.
Check the risotto at this point – it should almost be cooked, but still with a little bite to the rice. When it reaches this stage, you can stir in the peas with 150ml of the stock and cook until the stock has been absorbed. Again, give it a stir every so often if you're not too busy!
Check the risotto again to make sure that it is cooked properly. You can always add in a splash of extra stock if you feel that it needs it.
This last stage is important. Take the risotto off the heat, and stir in the butter and a good sprinkling of finely grated parmesan cheese. Put a lid on the saucepan and leave it to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Serve the risotto on warmed plates with more grated Parmesan on top, if you wish.
This recipe is easily doubled if you are cooking for 4 or more.