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During my break from work, I made dinner for the two of us. And when I say I made dinner, it means that I cooked from scratch and not heat up stuff that was already in the fridge. There’s been a lot of that happening over the past month. Poor husband of mine!

I grabbed a pack of arborio rice from the supermarket one evening and decided to try making risotto. See, I have had Jamie’s Italy sitting on my shelf for the longest time and I haven’t tried any of the recipes till now. Decided to adapt his mushroom risotto and added bacon to the mix because, well, Mr Thick simply cannot live without meat. Tsk.

Anyway, my arm nearly fell off after that. Stirring that pot of risotto is so tiring! Was v glad I didn’t have to do the washing up.

Mushroom and bacon risotto
Adapted from Jamie’s Italy

What you need:
Risotto bianco
400ml litres stock (chicken, fish or vegetable, as appropriate)
1 tsp olive oil
A knob of butter
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
40g risotto rice
1 wine glasses of dry white wine
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
40g cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Roasted mushroom and bacon risotto
1 x risotto bianco (see recipe)
5 pieces wild mushrooms, cleaned and torn
2 slices of bacon
Olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bulb of garlic, cloves peeled and halved
A small bunch of thyme, leaves picked
A knob of butter
1/2 lemon
Parmesan cheese, for grating

How to make:

  • Preheat oven to 180 degree Celsius.
  • Put the olive oil and butter into a large, heavy-based pan, add the onion, garlic and celery, and cook very slowly for about 15 minutes without colouring. When the vegetables have softened, add the rice and turn up the heat.
  • Keep stirring the rice until it looks slightly translucent (about a minute). Add the wine and keep stirring.
  • Once the vermouth/wine has cooked into the rice, add your first ladle of hot stock and a good pinch of salt. Turn the heat down to a simmer so the rice doesn’t cook too quickly on the outside. Keep adding ladlefuls of stock, allowing each ladleful to be absorbed before adding the next. This will take around 15 minutes. Taste the rice to check if it’s cooked. If not, carry on adding stock until the rice is soft with a slight bite.
  • Towards the end of cooking the risotto bianco, you need to start roasting the mushrooms and bacon. Heat a heavy-bottomed ovenproof frying pan or baking tray until medium hot and add the bacon. Add the mushrooms and fry for a minute or two, until they begin to colour, and season with salt and pepper. Add the garlic, thyme and butter, and mix together. Place the pan in the preheated oven and roast the mushrooms/bacon for 6 minutes or so, until cooked through.
  • Remove the risotto from the heat and add the butter and Parmesan. Add half the roasted mushrooms and garlic, and stir into the risotto, adding a good squeeze of lemon juice to balance the flavours. Stir well. Place a lid on the pan and allow to sit for two minutes.
  • Divide between the plates and sprinkle over the remaining mushrooms. Serve with grated Parmesan.

Mushroom and bacon risotto

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