There are some dishes you keep in your recipe book that fit all occasions: date night, a dinner party, or a cozy meal on a Sunday night (which means leftovers for work the next day!). This risotto recipe is pretty much all of the above and super easy to jazz up depending on the type of dinner you want to make. I will sear scallops and place a couple on top of each portion for a fancy dinner, I will dice and cook chicken and incorporate it at the end for more of a substantial meal, or will change the type of mushroom I use depending on what is in store or in-season.
One of the secrets to making this risotto a success is to pick very thick pieces of bacon and to cut them with a good knife. For this task, I like using my 7-inch German steel Santoku knife from Sabatier. I like the fact that it’s very reasonably priced and offers great control while being super sharp. My bacon ends up being cut evenly and easily without any real effort. If you’re curious about Sabatier, you should check out their website or find their products directly at Canadian Tire.
Sabatier got in touch with me about two months ago and I have since then been testing some of their products. In all honesty, my favourite product has been their Sabatier Canada board. I have to say I am impressed by how solid it is and it looks great too – I like to display it on my counter, leaned up against my backsplash when I’m not using it. It’s made of eco-friendly bamboo end-grain, which also makes it a great butcher’s block that is easy on knives and super easy to clean. Plus, this board is guaranteed for life.
This risotto is an adaptation of a recipe I made for the first time with my friend Frédérique. She found the recipe in a book she owns and over the years I have adapted it to my own taste – I still think of her every time I make this recipe. Hope you will like it as much as we do!
You will need:
2 tablespoons of salted butter
6 thick slices of bacon, diced
1 onion, chopped
8-10 Cremini mushrooms, sliced
5-6 asparagus, chopped
1 ½ cups of uncooked risotto rice
½ cup of dry white wine (I like using a sauvignon blanc)
6 cups of hot chicken broth
¼ cup of Italian parsley
½ cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
In a pan, melt the butter. Add the bacon and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the onion, mushrooms and asparagus and cook until the onion is soft and the bacon is cooked.
Add the rice and stir well for about 4-5 minutes, then add the wine. Make sure to scrape the sides and bottom of your pan to get all the flavours.
Add the chicken broth, about 1/3 of a cup at a time and mix well until almost all the liquid is absorbed before adding more. This step will take about 30 minutes. Make sure to keep an eye on your risotto, as you don’t want it to stick to the bottom of the pan.
Once your rice is cooked and you have used all the broth, add the parsley and Parmesan cheese and take your pan off the oven. Stir well and serve right away. Enjoy!