Friday, 5 November 2010

Risotto with bacon, peas and spring onions

Cormac dishes up his first ever risotto on his recent Bolognese cookery course.

This is a delicious and easy dish to prepare but as always with simple recipes the details are crucial. So

• do use a well flavoured chicken or ham stock, whether home made or bought (liquid or stock cude)

• soften and lightly brown the onion and garlic before adding the rice

• if you want to prepare risotto in advance, cook it for no more than 13 minutes, then transfer to a covered, buttered container and place in the fridge

• when the recipe contains slightly delicate ingredients like peas or prawns, it’s better to cook them separately and add them just before the end

• the rice should retain a slight bite when the cooking is finished – overdue it and you’ll end up with a mush.


1 large onion

2 cloves of garlic

2 sticks of celery

150g bacon or pancetta

50g flat leaved parsley

40ml olive oil

50g butter

salt and pepper

250g risotto rice

750ml chicken or ham stock

150g frozen peas

1 bunch of spring onions

100ml white wine

50g parmesan grated


1. Chop the onion, spring onion, parsley, garlic and celery finely.

2. Soften and lightly brown the onion, garlic and celery in half the olive oil.

3. Place the bacon in a hot oven to cook for 10 minutes until crisp and beginning to brown. Take it out and allow to cool. Chop into coarse fragments.

4. Make a parsley oil by liquidising the parsley and half the olive oil. Carefully pour into a squeezy bottle if you have one or into a jug.

5. Add the butter and rice to the vegetables and continue to fry for a few minutes stirring to amalgamate the rice.

6. Add the wine and cook off the alcohol.

7. Cook the peas in boiling water until almost tender.

8. Fry the spring onion in a small amount of butter.

9. Heat the stock and begin to add it to the rice, allowing it to be absorbed before adding more. Continue this process until the rice is almost cooked.

10. Now add the peas, spring onion, parmesan and bacon to the rice.

11. Place a neat mound of risotto on each plate and, using the squeezy bottle, surround it with parsley oil.

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