Risotto with bacon and rosemary

bacon and rosemary risotto

My fresh rosemary, is, still alive and kicking, waiting to perform in the kitchen.
After more then 2 weeks in my presence. I am somewhat surprised. What did I do right? Normally my herbs starts their not necessarily slow, but certainly sure death on the way home from the supermarket. Seriously. And by the time they make it pass the threshold, there’s no way back. They are in the arms of a serial-herb-killer… MuHAhaha…….No, seriously.

So, what to do, what to do with it. I just bought it for its lovely apperance. It was so large, so perky and appealing, I simply could not resist. (I have a thing for big food)
Considering my poor gardening skills, I made rosemary shortbread once I bought it. They are really yummy. (Hmm, I think I still have some. That’ll be a nice accompaniment along with a cup of tea for Ugly Betty later on…… ) So, what rosemary-dish comes next? For me, that’s always one thing: Risotto with bacon and of course, rosemary. I love a good risotto, and this one is probably my all time favourite. Bacon and rosemary together! What a match! I think it’s a Jamie Oliver recipe originally, but I’ve made it so many times, I don’t use a recipe anymore. Besides, I make small adjustments based on what ingredients I have. The important thing here is that there’s bacon, arborio and of course, rosemary (after all, that’s what started this)

So, here’s what you do:
Open your fridge and get: Bacon, onion, garlic.
Heat up some chicken or vegetable stock.
Slice the bacon, and fry it till it turns quite golden. Remove from the pan.
Fry the chopped onion and garlic, and when it turns lightly brown, soft and sweet, add the rice.
Stir it until you see the rice becoming slightly transparent. (and this is where one should add white wine, but I didn’t have white wine, so – no wine! The recipe also calls for borlotti beans, at some point, but I didn’t have that either. But be sure to add beans if you have some, it’s really good. I replaced it with leek this time.)

Turn down the heat. And then, you can start adding the boiling stock. Little by little. Spoon by spoon. Patience is a virtue. It will be worth it in the end.
From here on it goes like this: Add stock, stir, add stock, stir, add stock stir….. Get it?
Well, not forever! Just until the rice is soft, yet a little al dente. Chewy. It’ll take about 15-20 minutes….
And when you reach this stage, re-add the bacon, a generous – and I do mean generous – knob of butter and grated parmesan. Now, stir! Or whip this into the risotto to make that creamy, cheesy risotto-texture. And when you reach that stage, you know what comes next… Eating it! Grate some parmesan and freshly grated pepper over it, and enjoy. It should be eaten rightaway, so if you set the table before starting to make the risotto, even better. And, that’s it!

No, wait! That’s not it! I forgot the rosemary… (and it’s not the first time) chop a handful of leaves,  and toss them into the risotto. And eventually use it as a garnish, to finish it off. Looks quite pretty. And now, you’re done.


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