I really love risotto. I try to stay away from carbs, but risotto is my weakness. I don’t make pasta dishes very often, but when I do I make the calories worthwhile. I made this risotto dish for Scott’s birthday and it did not disappoint. Originally, I wanted to make this with pancetta, ie: Italian bacon, but couldn’t find any at the store so I settled for plain old American bacon.
I added the grilled asparagus because I wanted a crisp, green contrast to the bacon. Grilling the asparagus added a nice smokiness as well. Bacon and asparagus have always been a good flavor combo for me- check out my grilled bacon wrapped asparagus recipe. Any other green veggie like baby arugula or watercress would be great as well.
This risotto has a generous amount of butter, bacon and even cream cheese so when I say this is a guilty pleasure, I mean it! Go big or go home!
The cream cheese adds even more creaminess to the recipe and cuts the saltiness of the bacon.
- 1 cup uncooked arborio rice (Italian style rice)
- 2 tblsp olive oil
- 2 tblsp butter
- 1/2 cup chopped onion (I used Vidalia- they are in season right now and are sweeter, more mellow than regular white onions)
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 5 slices thick cut bacon
- 1/2 lb asparagus (inedbile parts removed)
- 1 tblsp cream cheese
- Sea Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Grill the asparagus until char marks form. Cook bacon until crispy. (I grilled the bacon in a skillet on the grill but this can be done wherever it makes sense for you).
Risotto: Saute onion in oil and butter for 3 minutes. Add the rice, stirring for about 2 minutes until is covered in the oil/butter mixture. Stir in one cup of broth and let the rice absorb (I kept the pot on medium for a slow simmer). Continue cooking and stirring until liquid is absorbed before adding the next cup. Cook until all the stock has been used and the risotto has reached a creamy, starchy consistency.
Next, chop the
asparagus stalks and bacon into small pieces. Reserve 1/4 cup of chopped bacon for garnish. Mix in the asparagus, bacon and cream cheese. When serving, garnish on the top with remaining bacon.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.